NEWBERRY, S.C. – The Converse (0-20) softball team lost twice to Newberry (13-7) on Wednesday afternoon. The Valkyries could not hold a four-run lead in game one, dropping that contest by the final of 7-6 before falling 8-0 in the nightcap.
GAME ONE: CONVERSE 6, NEWBERRY 7
The Valkyries wasted no time putting a run on the scoreboard as Mariah Blackmon came through with an RBI double to center in the top of the first to put Converse ahead 1-0. Jena Massing started the frame with a single to right field before advancing to second on a fielder's choice by Marissa Steadman. Allison Plafcan then singled to third base, but Massing was tagged out on the play. However, that set up Blackmon as she roped a 2-2 pitch to center field, allowing Steadman to touch the plate.
Unfortunately, Newberry came back with a pair of runs in the bottom of the first to take its first lead of the contest. Haley Simonds came through with an RBI triple in the inning.
After a scoreless second for both teams, Converse broke the bats out in the top of the third, posting three runs on a pair of hits. Steadman earned a walk to start the session before advancing to second on a wild pitch. Plafcan came through with a base hit up the middle that allowed Steadman to touch the plate and tie the game at 2-2.
Converse loaded the bases with back-to-back walks, but it looked as though the Wolves would escape further trouble as the next two batters were retired, which left the bases juiced with two outs. Anna Bennett had other plans, lacing a double to right field that brought home Meredith Quarles and Blackmon, giving CC the lead at 4-2.
That lead grew to 6-2 as the Valkyries added a single run in the fifth and sixth innings. Bennett tallied another RBI to her total in the fifth with a single to left field, plating Kayla Gilfillan, while Massing touched the plate in the sixth on a wild pitch by Kelsey Cunningham.
Newberry regained the lead (7-6) in the home half of the sixth with five runs on seven hits. Converse put a runner on second with two outs in the top of the seventh but could not push across the tying run to extend the game, falling to the Wolves 7-6.
Jianna Pellegrino took the tough loss after throwing 5.1 innings and allowing seven runs while giving up 13 hits.
GAME TWO: CONVERSE 0, NEWBERRY 8 (5 INNINGS)
The second game of the doubleheader had a different feel to it as Newberry jumped all over Converse with eight runs over the first three innings of play. The Wolves put together four hits in the top of the first, which turned into five runs while adding two more in the second and one in the third.
That was all the run support needed as the Valkyries bats went cold in the nightcap, managing only two hits over the 5.0 innings of play. CC's best chance to break through on the scoreboard came in the top of the fourth. Allison Plafcan reached first on an error by the Wolves' second baseman and touched second following a Mariah Blackmon single to left field. However, the threat ended there as the next two batters were retired in order.
Steadman dropped the game for Converse after allowing eight runs on 10 hits, while Alyssa Ball picked up the win, throwing the shutout for Newberry.
Converse will be back in action on Friday, March 9 as it welcomes Rochester (Mich.) to Tyger River Park for a twin billing. First pitch is scheduled for 3:30 p.m.