LAURINBURG, NC - The Montreat College softball team entered spring break on a high note, picking up their first road win of the season before ultimately splitting a double-header against St. Andrews in Appalachian Athletic Conference play on Friday.
In the first game, the Knights took an early 1-0 lead after the first inning and that would hold until the fourth inning when a Desirae Bebber (JR/Catfish, NC) triple drove in Megan Recher (SR/Waxhaw, NC) to tie the game at 1-1. In the next at bat, Ashley Hurd (SO/Winston-Salem, NC) singled up the middle to drive in Bebber and give the Cavaliers a 2-1 lead. The two sides would remain scoreless until the top of the seventh, when Hurd scored from third base off of a wild pitch from the Knights to push the Montreat lead to 3-1. St. Andrews would make things interesting by adding a run of their own in the bottom of the seventh, but Montreat was able to close out the game and earn the victory.
In the second game, Montreat jumped out to a 2-0 lead when Dezaree Avallone (SR/Shallotte, NC) drilled a two-run home run in the first inning, but the Knights got hot offensively and racked up seven runs in the first three innings on their way to a 10-2 win in five innings. Aubree Sluder (FR/Asheville, NC) collected two hits for Montreat.
The team will be back in action on Wednesday, March 30th when they host Union College for a double-header set to begin at 2pm.
MONTREAT, NC - Montreat College head softball coach Heather Maston has announced the return of recent graduate, Melina Wilkinson as the team's new graduate assistant coach. Wilkinson, from Johannesburg, South Africa, completed her bachelor's degree in Business with a concentration in Sports Management at Montreat in December 2015. She arrived back at Montreat at the end of February and will pursue the Masters of Science degree in Management and Leadership.
Wilkinson was the Cavaliers' starting shortstop for the previous two seasons, earning accolades on and off the field. During her senior season at Montreat, Wilkinson earned recognition as a two-time AAC Player of the Week, AAC All-Conference first team, AAC All-Defensive Team, AAC All-Academic team, and an NAIA Scholar-Athlete. She was also recognized as the 2015 Montreat Female Athlete of the Year. Wilkinson was also a three year varsity starter for the women's soccer team.
Prior to coming to Montreat College in August 2012, Wilkinson competed on the South African Collegiate team playing in Thailand at the World Student Games in 2007. In 2012, she was a part of the South African National team that participated at the ISF World Softball Championships in Canada.
Wilkinson states, "I am excited to take the graduate assistant position at Montreat College because it is a great opportunity to help continue the growth of the softball program that I've played for, while studying to better equip myself as a coach and leader." After completing her MSML degree, Melina plans to continue her softball coaching career, while also pursuing her dream of playing professional fast-pitch softball.
"Melina has a proven record of success both on and off the field," commented Maston. "I believe she will bring that same drive with her graduate studies and into her coaching. Her faith in God is evident in all she does, from taking the leap of faith to come to Montreat from South Africa, to choosing to remain in the states to pursue her career and education goals. We are extremely excited to keep Melina on as an assistant coach and I look forward to seeing her continued growth in her faith and her life."
SPARTANBURG, SC - The Montreat College softball team dropped a pair of games to Converse College on Saturday.
In the first game, the Cavaliers were kept in check by a strong pitching performance from Converse, and garnered only one hit in a 7-0 loss. In the afternoon game, Montreat got going early, scoring a run in the top of the first inning. However, the Valkyries would build a 4-1 lead after four innings until the Cavaliers used a two-run sixth inning to cut the lead to 4-3. The home team refused to go buckle and added a run in the bottom of the sixth that would prove to be the final score in a 5-3 win for Converse.
Connor Townsend (JR/Morganton, NC) went 2-3 with an RBI while Amber Smith (SR/Boonville, NC) was 1-3 with two RBI. Smith also went the distance on the mound, giving up five runs over six innings of work.
The Cavaliers will take the field again on Friday, March 18th when they travel to take on St. Andrews in an Appalachian Athletic Confrence showdown. Game one of the double-header is set to begin at 2pm.