FERRUM — Ferrum College’s nationally-ranked softball team broke a three-game losing streak Wednesday with a doubleheader sweep of former USA South Athletic Conference rival Mary Baldwin University at American National Bank Field.
The Panthers (12-3) won the first game, 13-5, and took the second contest, 8-0.
Both games were stopped before the seventh inning because of the run rule.
The Panthers fell 10 positions in the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) Division III rankings due to their three-game skid; they are tied this week with Wartburg (9-3) at No. 23.
Of the 25 teams ranked , only No. 1 East Texas Baptist (15), No. 2 Texas Lutheran (17), the reigning national champion, and No. 12 Salisbury (Md.) University (17) have more wins that Ferrum.
Wednesday’s sweep puts the Panthers on equal footing wins-wise with No. 3 Christopher Newport University, No. 7 Linfield and No. 11 Mary Hardin-Baylor.
Ferrum erased a 1-0 deficit in Wednesday’s first game courtesy of a five-run rally in the last of the first.
Mary Baldwin scored three runs in the top of the second to cut the gap to one, but Panthers matched the visitors output in the bottom of the second to double the count, 8-4.
The Panthers’ lead was three runs, 8-5, prior to a three-run fourth and a two-run fifth that brought an end to game one.
Ferrum outhit Mary Baldwin, 16-10, and took advantage of two errors, while committing one.
In the second game, the Panthers crafted four consecutive, two-run rallies in the third, fourth, fifth and sixth frames for their second shut-out triumph of the campaign.
Ferrum outhit Mary Baldwin, 12-2, and benefited from two errors, while playing mistake-free defense.
In the first game, Mary Baldwin (3-9) collected three extra-base hits: a double by Jordan Miller, a triple by Marybeth Strickler and a home run by Alexis Clark.
Strickler was 3 of 3 with two RBIs and Clark was 2 of 3 with an RBI.
Emily Cook belted a home run and a double for Ferrum and Carly Nelson (Bassett) smacked a double.
Cook was 3 of 4 with five RBIs and Keri Hamlett was 2 of 4 with an RBI and two stolen bases.
In the second game, Mary Baldwin was limited to two bases hits, while Ferrum got doubles from Arielle Eure and Allison McGehee.
Eure was 3 of 3 with an RBI and Hamlett was 2 of 4 with an RBI and two stolen bases.
Strickler was 1 of 3 and Clark was 1 of 2.
Right-hander Ashton Lambeth (6-2) was the winning pitcher for the Panthers in the first game and right-hander Lyndsey Sears (6-1) claimed the victory in the second game. Both turned in complete-game efforts.
Ferrum returns to action Sunday against former USA South Athletic Conference rival Pfeiffer (North Carolina) University.
The first game of the doubleheader starts at 2 p.m. at Jack Ingram Field in Misenheimer, N.C.
Former Franklin County prep star Sara Brown, a junior, is a third-year performer for Pfeiffer.
The two games are Ferrum’s final two non-conference regular-season match-ups this season.