FT. MADISON — The Southeast Conference is officially a two-team race. No. 15 Mt. Pleasant completed a season sweep of Ft. Madison on Monday night, topping the Bloodhounds 5-3 and 4-2, and Fairfield swept Washington to clear up the SEC fight.
The Panthers had to grind out a couple of low-scoring wins to stay in contention. Mt. Pleasant won the first game 5-3 and the second game 4-2.
In game one, the Panthers and Bloodhounds scored three runs apiece in the first inning, but the next five frames were scoreless. The Panthers strung together a couple of runs in the seventh inning to take back the lead, and starting pitcher Sydni Coleman stayed strong in the bottom half to clinch the victory.
Coleman threw seven innings in the win, giving up three unearned runs on seven hits and one walk, while stirking out three batters.
Anni Liechty led the Panther offense. She finished the day 2-3 with two RBIs. Coleman was 1-4 with two RBIs. Samantha Broeker went 1-4 with an RBI, and both Makayla Cam and Lyndi Vantiger went 2-4 with a double.
Ft. Madison scored a run in the bottom of the first and held a 1-0 lead until the fifth. The Panthers rallied with two in the fifth and two in the sixth to stretch the lead to 4-1. The Bloodhounds scored one run in the bottom of the seventh, but it was too little, too late.
Liechty had a nice outing in the circle, giving up two earned runs on four hits and six walks over seven innings. She struck out one Bloodhound in the win.
Grace Kelley was 1-3 with two RBIs in the win. Broeker went 1-3 with a double and an RBI, and Cam was 1-4 with an RBI.
The Panthers are now 15-5 overall, and sit one game back in the SEC with their 10-2 record. They’ll host New London in a nonconference doubleheader on Wednesday, June 19.