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Mitchell’s Gem Backed By Defensive Effort

March 9, 2007
By cnp
Posted in Athletics

Clarksville, Ark.-Andrea Mitchell struck out 11 batters as the University of the Ozarks softball team took one of two from Piedmont College on Friday in non-conference action.

<#IMAGE:1#>Mitchell (2-3) recorded her first shutout of the season and received a strong defensive backing as the Lady Eagles (3-5, 0-0) took a 1-0 win in game one. The right-handed senior pitched perhaps her best game at Ozarks, striking out a career-high 11 while not allowing a single walk. Mitchell cruised through seven innings, and got two big back-to-back defensive plays from Kara Bartholomew and Jessica Pianalto to help secure the shutout. It was in the top of the sixth that Piedmont (9-6) put a runner in scoring position with only one out when Bartholomew snagged a sure single from her right field position. Pianalto then followed with a nice catch at second base to prevent the Lady Lions from scoring. Ozarks got their only run in the bottom of the third when Jodie Clark led off the inning with a triple. With one out, Pianalto recorded a sacrifice fly to score Clark giving the Lady Eagles the eventual game-winning run. Piedmont recorded two hits in the top of the seventh, but Mitchell forced a lineout with one down and then notched another strikeout to end the game. Stacy Simpson paced Ozarks at the plate, finishing 2-for-3. <#IMAGE:2#>Piedmont squeaked past Ozarks, 3-2, in game two Friday behind 13 Lady Lion hits. After four scoreless innings, Piedmont scored a pair of runs in the top of the fifth on four hits. However, Ozarks rallied back in the bottom of the sixth to tie the contest at 2-2. Brooke Grice led off the inning with a single and Chelsea Joslin followed with another one-bagger. Danielle Dirks then notched an infield single, but Piedmont’s pitcher overthrew the first baseman to score one run. On the same play, the Piedmont first baseman heaved the ball in an attempt to make a play at third, but the errant-thrown ball rolled into Ozarks’ dugout to score another. The tie wouldn’t last long, however, as the Lady Lions got a two-out single in the final inning to escape with a win. Stephany Henson (0-2) took the loss after pitching seven innings and striking out three. Bartholomew and Joslin each collected two hits for Ozarks. The Lady Eagles will host Ouachita Baptist on March 13 in a double-header beginning at 1:00 p.m.