PETERSBURG, Va., (March 4, 2016) – Sophomore Kimberly Ellis laced a double to deep left center that brought home fellow sophomore Abby Eichelberger from third base, to lead the Richard Bland College softball team to a 6-5 non-conference win over Pitt C.C. under chilly conditions at Statesmen Field on Friday night.
Both teams had opportunities to take advantage of the International Tiebreaker Rule, which places a runner on second base at the conclusion of seven innings and the game tied. Both Richard Bland and Pitt each tallied a run in the eighth inning to knot the game 5-5, but it was the Statesmen who took advantage of having the speedy Eichelberger on second in the bottom half of the ninth. She was sacrificed to third by sophomore Hannah Barnes and easily scored on Ellis' bomb in the gap.
The victory is the third straight for the Statesmen, who improve to 3-9. Pitt drops to 9-3 on the season. Richard Bland next hosts the RBC Softball Invitational on Saturday and Sunday. The Statesmen will play CCBC Catonsville on campus at 10 a.m. before switching to the Dinwiddie Sports Complex where RBC will face College of Southern Maryland at 3:00 p.m. and Cuyahoga Community College at 5:00 p.m.
For the Statesmen, freshman Shannon Buffington earned her third win of the season in going the distance. She allowed eight hits and five runs, though only one of those runs were earned. She struck out two and walked none. She fielded her position extremely well, with seven assists and one put out.
Brooke Jones took the loss for Pitt, pitching just 1 1/3 innings.
Offensively, the Statesmen managed only six hits after a big first inning in which the team plated four runs in the bottom half of the first. RBC had just two hits in the inning, but manufactured its four runs on a lead off double by Barnes, a single by freshman Tabby Dabney, sandwiched around two Pitt errors and a fielder's choice.
Pitt got a run back in its home second and starting pitcher Jessica Curtis settled into a groove over the next six innings, keeping the Statesmen off the board. Pitt tied the game 4-4 in the top of the fifth, scoring three runs with two outs. Back-to-back singles by Bri Williams and Peyton Taylor drove in the tying runs, but Buffington left the bases loaded with some nifty pitching.
With the ITB rule in place, both teams tallied a run.
Barnes led the Statesmen with a 2-for-4 game.