WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- The Meredith College softball Angels lost a pair of heartbreakers Saturday versus one of the USA South's newest members Salem College. Game one required three extra innings to close out 7-6 in favor of the Spirits, and game two followed with a 3-1 loss to the hosts.
Meredith's offense struggled through the first four frames with just three at-bats in each. Sarah Watson finally stroked a double in the fifth but moved no further to leave the Avenging Angels down 2-0.
Katie Kepley and Kelsey Mabe advanced on a pair of singles in the fifth. Laura Zievis reached on an error by the third baseman, who put out the lead runner heading her way. Brittany Bucklin loaded the bases with a walk, and Maria Annunziata put the Angels on the board scoring two.
The Meredith defense held Salem through regulation, so returned to the dugout in the eighth. The international tiebreaker rule placed Kepley on second, and Erica Occena moved her to third with a single. Occena stole second in time for a Zievis single to score both for a 4-2 advantage.
Salem responded with two runs in the bottom of the inning to tie the game. With the winning run on third, Salem's Jennifer Viteralli sent a fly ball to center field. Meredith's Watson made the catch and through a perfect ball home for Rachel Peel to tag out Logan Bowling for the third out.
Meredith's bats continued to attack as Mabe scored Charley Cox, who was placed on second in the ninth. Occena drove in Mabe to put the Angels back in the lead 6-4.
A tough defensive series allowed Salem to even the game in the bottom of the frame, but Meredith left their tiebreaker runner on third in the top of the tenth.
Jackson pitched nine innings, allowing 10 hits with three earned runs, three walks, and six strikeouts. Rookie Cerasi recorded the tough loss. The Spirits utilized four pitchers on the game, and Lauryn Smith was credited with the win.
Meredith regrouped with a short break in between games, and Mabe doubled in the first of game two. But she was left base with a double play in the next at-bat.
Cerasi managed the Spirits, and Occena drove in Meredith's first run of the game in the top of the second. Salem responded with a two-RBI homer in the third to edge into the lead and would score one more in the sixth to finish off the Avenging Angels.
Cerasi earned her sixth loss allowing three runs on eight hits, striking out one. Smith earned the win again for the Spirits allowing one run on eight hits, two walks and three strikeouts.
The Avenging Angels remain on the road for a league doubleheader versus the West Division's Maryville College. The first pitch is slated for Noon in Tennessee with live action available HERE.