ORANGEBURG — Newberry started off the 2018 campaign with a pair of dominant offensive performances at in-state foe Claflin Tuesday afternoon, exploding for a 15-3 win in five innings and a 10-4 triumph to sweep a doubleheader from the Lady Panthers.
Newberry (2-0) pounded out 11 hits and drew 10 walks in a shortened Game One, leading 3-1 after three innings before plating six runs apiece in the final two frames. Outfielder Ashley Willis made the most of her first appearance in a collegiate uniform, going 3-for-4 with three RBI’s and a pair of runs scored to lead the charge for Newberry offensively.
The Wolves used a Haley Simonds two-run double to take an early 2-0 lead on the Lady Panthers (0-4) in the first inning and stretched the lead back to two runs on an RBI fielder’s choice by Myranda Dills in the third. Willis then got the offense going in the fourth, beginning the frame with a double down the left field line to start the first of two six-run innings for the Wolves’ offense.
Emily Marchbanks earned the win by allowing three runs, including two unearned, on three hits in 4.0 innings of work. She struck out three batters and issued three walks to record her first win of the season and 13th of her career.
While the Wolves steadily increased their advantage throughout the contest in Game One, Newberry used a single big inning to pull away in Game Two. The Wolves sent 12 batters to the plate in a nine-run third, crossing the plate seven times before the first out was recorded. Simonds, Chelsey Cunningham, Haley Wildes, Allison Van Atta, Willis, Paige Meyer and Morgan Wagaman each contributed at least one RBI in the inning.
Wagaman and Simonds were the only two Newberry hitters with multiple hits in the balanced attack. Eight of Newberry’s nine position players scored a run.
Selice Daley pitched three innings in her first collegiate start, giving up four runs on five hits and recording four strikeouts in 3.0 innings. Alyssa Ball and Cunningham combined to limit Claflin to one hit over a scoreless final four innings.
Willis finished her afternoon with four hits and five RBI’s in her six trips to the plate between the two contests. Simonds also pounded out four hits and drew a walk. Natalie Willis accounted for a fifth of Newberry’s 25 runs scored on the day. In the circle, Ball retired the Lady Panthers in order in the fifth inning of Game One before pitching three innings in Game Two, while Cunningham pitched a scoreless inning and accounted for four RBI’s at the plate.