MOUNT OLIVE – The University of Mount Olive softball program eclipsed the school record for runs and hits in a single game while earning a sweep on the final day of the round-robin tournament at Nancy Chapman Cassell Field with a 28-0 victory over UVA Wise in Game 1 before an 18-4 win in Game 2 versus Virginia Union.
With the sweep, the Trojans improved to 6-0 following the opening week of the season. Mount Olive outscored its opponents by an 82-9 margin with 11 homers and 12 doubles while posting a .509 average at the plate. In the circle, the Trojans delivered five complete-game performances and 44 strikeouts through the opening six contests.
Against UVA Wise in Game 1, the Trojans became just the third-ever team in NCAA Division II softball history to score 20 or more runs in a single inning. It marks the first time since 1990 that the feat has been achieved and the current record is held by MSU Denver with 21 runs. UMO also joined 14 teams in NCAA Division II with 28 or more hits in a single game.
Mount Olive scored 20 runs in the top of the first on 12 hits and batted through the order three times. The inning was highlighted by three homers as senior Kylie Emanuele belted a grand slam while senior Lark Collins and freshman Laci Best each delivered three-run homers. In the bottom of the third, senior Cana Shrock added to the lead with a solo homer to left-center, her second of the season, 21-0. Mount Olive tallied seven more runs on eight hits in the fourth, including seven RBI singles, to stretch the lead to 28-0.
Senior pitcher Hannah Killough (2-0) delivered a complete-game shutout over 5.0 innings (99 pitches) while tallying 12 strikeouts in the win. Through her initial two starts, she boasts a 0.00 ERA with 21 strikeouts while holding opponents to a .032 batting average.
In Game 2 against Virginia Union, the Trojans established an early 4-0 advantage in the first inning behind six hits. Senior Courtlynn Cooney produced a leadoff bunt single before stealing second base. With the stolen base, Cooney became the first-ever player in program history to reach 100 career steals. She scored later in the inning on a groundout before senior Carly Curcio belted a two-run double and junior Alyssa Smothers laced an RBI single to left field.
In the bottom of the second, Mount Olive totaled eight runs on eight hits with Cana Shrock accounting for three RBI in a pair of at-bats during the inning. Additionally, Curcio registered two more RBI on a single to left field. With the Trojans leading by a 12-0 margin, UMO scored six more runs in the fourth, highlighted by a two-run double by Best and a two-run homer from senior Ashlyn Porter. The Panthers registered four runs in the top of the fifth, as Mount Olive secured an 18-4 win.
Junior Callie Thornton secured the win (3-0) after tossing 2.0 innings with three strikeouts before exiting the game with a 12-0 lead. Sophomore Bri Verme also totaled 2.0 innings in the circle and yielded two hits with a pair of strikeouts.
The Trojans return to Nancy Chapman Cassell Field on Tuesday as they face Wingate in a non-conference doubleheader, starting at 1 p.m.