For the third time already this season, the University of South Carolina Beaufort softball team ended a game by way of the mercy rule, sweeping a doubleheader against Southern Wesleyan on Saturday with a pair of early finishes.
The Sand Sharks (4-0) won Saturday’s opener in Hardeeville by a 10-2 count before closing out the visitors 8-0 in the second game.
Sophomore catcher Amanda Brown ended the first game with a two-run home run in the fifth inning, and junior second baseman Katie Rietkovich delivered a bases-loaded single to stop the second game in the sixth inning.
The first home run of Brown's career was the third of the game for the Sand Sharks, who also got a two-run blast in the third from junior shortstop C.J. Browder — her third of the season — and a three-run shot in the fourth from sophomore center fielder Shelby Zipperer.
The Sand Sharks went deep twice in the second game, both in the four-run sixth inning. Sophomore first baseman Taylor Triplett hit a solo blast to right-center with one out, and sophomore third baseman Mariaha Sanborn had a two-run shot to left later in the inning. After three straight singles, Rietkovich lined a single up the middle to plate the final run and end the day early.
Junior outfielder Melanie Goolsby went 2 for 3 and twice was hit by pitches in the doubleheader. She is 7 for 9 on the season.
USCB has outscored its opponents 35-5 and is hitting .380 as a team while limiting opponents to a .214 average.
USCB's pitching staff was dominant again Saturday, allowing only seven hits in the doubleheader. Sophomore Kristy Cook (2-0) allowed two runs on four hits and struck out five to earn the win in the opener, and freshman Ashlie Layman struck out one in a scoreless fifth.
Sophomore Caitlin Campbell (2-0) struck out eight in the second game, limiting the Warriors to three hits in a six-inning complete game. She walked one and didn't allow a runner past second base after the first inning.
The Sand Sharks will be back in action Sunday at the Savannah State Lady Tiger Softball Tournament, facing a pair of NCAA Division I teams. USCB will play Morgan State at noon and face host Savannah State at 4 p.m.