SALISBURY, N.C.—Mars Hill took the first game 2-1, but Catawba fought back from a five-run deficit to take the second game 6-5 Friday afternoon for a split in South Atlantic Conference action. Mars Hill is now 21-19 overall, 6-8 in conference play. Catawba is 28-15 overall, 8-5 in SAC play.
Natalie Haithcox homered twice and drove in four runs, and Robyn Stanek added a pair of RBI’s for Mars Hill. Taylor Morris tossed a complete game to earn the victory in game one for the Lions. Tara Gibbs hit a walk-off home run to cap the five-run comeback for Catawba in game two. Gibbs had three RBI’s on the day to pace the Indians.
Mars Hill rode a great pitching performance by Morris and scored two runs late to earn the 2-1 victory.
Catawba took an early lead in the bottom of the second. Gibbs led off with a single, and later scored on a wild pitch make the score 1-0 in favor of the Indians.
The two teams traded zeroes until the top of the sixth, when Mars Hill rallied to take the lead. Stephanie McGrath reached on a bunt single, and advanced to third when Stanek reached on an error. Haithcox scored McGrath with an RBI-single to tie the score, and a sacrifice fly to center by Shaundee Woosley scored Stanek to give the Lions a 2-1 lead.
Morris shut the door the rest of the way, including striking out the side in the final inning. Morris worked a complete game, surrendering an earned run on four hits, with no walks and eight strikeouts.
Indians starter Brittany Murray nearly matched the effort, surrendering two unearned runs and striking out three.
After spotting Mars Hill a five-run lead through three innings, Catawba rallied to score six unanswered runs and won 6-5 on Gibbs’ walk-off home run in the bottom of the seventh.
Mars Hill struck first on a home run by Haithcox to left-center in the top of the second.
The Lions added to their lead with a four-run third. Taylor Hussey and Megan Arrington singled and advanced into scoring position on a sacrifice bunt by Ashley McCurry. Stanek scored both runners with a two-run double, and Haithcox followed with her 17th homer of the season to make the score 5-0.
Catawba began their comeback in the bottom of the fourth with an Alli Justice home run.
The Indians added four runs in the bottom of the fifth to tie the score. Consecutive singles by Michaela Boyd, Amanda Terry and Sydney Hyder loaded the bases. Gibbs and Emily Huneycutt drew walks to pick up RBI’s. Hyder scored on a wild pitch and Gibbs scored on an error to tie the score.
Gibbs’ homer with one out in the bottom of the seventh capped the comeback for the Indians.
Mars Hill will be in action again on Wednesday, April 11 at SAC-foe Carson-Newman. First pitch is set for 2 p.m.