Lander sweeps Emmanuel as Killian throws program's first NCAA perfect game

Lander sweeps Emmanuel as Killian throws program's first NCAA perfect game

GREENWOOD – The Lander softball team got an historic night of pitching as Abby Killian tossed the first perfect game in the school's NCAA history and Ashley Vinson came three outs away from a no-hitter as the Bearcats swept Emmanuel, 4-1 and 7-0, at Doug Spears Field on Tuesday night. 

Lander (5-2) out-hit Emmanuel (0-2) 17-2 on the day and remained unbeaten all-time against the Lions.

"Great wins for us today," said head coach Glen Crawford. "Our pitching was unbelievable and our bats came alive. We had to adjust to their pitching and once we did that, we started to hit the ball well."

After a scoreless first inning in game one, the Bearcats got on the scoreboard as Chandler Carey and Ashley Vinson reached to open the inning. Both runners advanced sacrifice bunt from Delaney Guerrero and a wild pitch allowed Carey to cross home for the game's first run. 

Lander scored three runs with two outs in the fourth inning, as Vinson was hit by a pitch and Guerrero singled to keep the frame going. Kasey Rogers drove in Vinson with a single and Morgan Watson cleared the bases with a two-run double to give the Bearcats a 3-0 lead. 

Vinson (2-1) took her no-hit bid into the seventh inning, but Emmanuel broke through with a leadoff single and plated a run before Vinson closed out the win. She limited the Lions to one unearned run on two hits with two strikeouts. Emmanuel's Madison Hopper (0-1) was charged with the loss after allowing four runs on seven hits in 5.2 innings. 

In game two, Lander plated four runs in the bottom of the second. With runners on first and third with one out, Watson delivered her second RBI knock of the day, singling home Guerrero. Jace Bennefield then laid down a bunt that scored Haven Pesce from third to put the Bearcats up 2-0. After a Sydney Grimes groundout brought home Watson, Shannon Antonini capped the inning with an RBI single. 

The Bearcats added another run in the bottom of the fifth when Bennefield drew a bases loaded walk and pushed the lead to 7-0 on a two-run single from Alana Frye in the bottom of the sixth. 

Killian (3-0) was dominant from start to finish, striking out 11 of the final 15 batters she faced. She finished with a career-high 12 strikeouts. Madison Abel (0-1) allowed five runs in 4.1 innings for Emmanuel. 

Lander hosts North Greenville next Tuesday in a doubleheader at 3:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m.