Hawks sweep Bowie; claim Northern Division title

Published 10:16 am Tuesday, April 26, 2016

MURFREESBORO – The Chowan University Lady Hawks swept Bowie State 8-0 and 6-3 in a CIAA softball doubleheader here Sunday afternoon.

The twin-sweep gave Chowan the league’s Northern Division title for the second straight season, and their sixth in program history.

In leading the Hawks to a 4-0 record last week, Coach Brian DeWitt was named “CIAA Coach of the Week” and was hoping Chowan could make it 14 wins in a row as the Hawks hadn’t lost since March 13 in West Virginia.

The Hawks opened the scoring with a run in the bottom of the first inning. After Tina White doubled and went to third on a wild pitch, she would score on Katrina Simmons’ RBI groundout. That gave Chowan a 1-0 lead after the first inning.

Chowan scored two more runs in the bottom of the second when Kennsey Epley and Danielle Baccus opened with walks. A sacrifice bunt by Haley Cox moved both runners into scoring position. Epley would score on a Rachel Clark sacrifice fly while Baccus scored on an RBI single by White. Chowan led it now, 3-0.

The Hawks put it away in the third when a Kris Neal single, an Epley double, and a walk issued to Baccus loaded the bases. Cox then hit a grand slam over the left field wall for a 7-0 Chowan lead.

The final run came in the bottom of the fourth as Tori Cragan celebrated Senior Day with a solo home run over the fence in left field for an 8-0 lead after four innings. The Lady Bulldogs didn’t score in the top of fifth inning and that ended the first game.

Kayla Robins pitched five innings allowing no runs on three hits and she posted eight strikeouts in getting the shutout win.

White led the Chowan batting with two of the team’s eight hits. Cragan, Neal, Epley, Cox, Clark, and “CIAA Player of the Week”, Haley Cooper each had one hit.

In the second game Chowan built a six-run lead before beating Bowie by a final of 6-3.

Neal opened with a solo home run to left in the bottom of the second inning for a 1-0 lead after two. In the bottom of the third White opened with a single and moved to third on a Simmons base hit. Cragan was hit by a pitch to load the bases. White later scored on a wild pitch and Simmons scored on a sacrifice fly by Neal. Those scores put the Hawks up 3-0 after three innings of softball.

Chowan got two more runs in the bottom of the fifth when Simmons singled, stole second, and scored on a Cooper RBI single. Neal then delivered another run-scoring single to centerfield that made it 5-0 after five innings.

Chowan’s final run came in the bottom of the sixth inning when Clark tripled to right field and then scored on White’s RBI single to center to make it 6-0 after six.

Bowie got three runs in the top of the seventh, but they weren’t enough as the Hawks picked up their 14th win this season over CIAA competition.

Robins, the current CIAA “Pitcher of the Week”, went six innings for the win allowing no runs on four hits and she had a dozen strikeouts. It raised her record on the season to 16-6. Audrey Hubbard pitched one inning allowing three runs on four hits.

Chowan had nine hits, two each by White, Simmons, and Neal. Cooper, Clark, and Baccus had the other three.

Cragan and Clark were recognized for Senior Day between the two games.

Chowan (25-12, 14-0, CIAA) now heads to Walnut Creek Softball Complex in Raleigh on Thursday for the start of the CIAA Softball Tournament Championship.