The Carroll College softball team earned a split against the University of Great Falls in a doubleheader Friday, dropping the first game 4-3 before rallying to win the second 3-2 at Highland South Park in Great Falls.
The Saints built a lead early in the first game on a double by Anna ApRoberts that scored Jaylin Kenney in the second inning. Carroll added to the lead in the fifth when, after stealing third, Brittany Hogan scored on a mishandled throw, giving the Saints a 2-0 advantage.
The Argos only scored in one inning, but it was damaging. A single with two on gave them the first run before Kylie Gonzales hit a three-run homer to put the Argos on top.
The Saints added a run in the top of the seventh and looked to be in great position with only one out and runners on second and third, but a strikeout and putout ended the game, and the Argos held on.
"In Game 1, we controlled the whole game and had the hit to go ahead, but it went just foul," coach Aaron Jackson said. "That is the game of softball; sometimes you get the break and sometimes not. But our kids fought hard all day, and that is all that I ask."
The second game didn't look promising after the first inning. The Saints left the bases loaded in their half of the frame and allowed two runs in the bottom, but pitcher Allison Williams put on a show for the remainder.
The Saints got on the board in the fourth inning when ApRoberts singled to score Williams. Carroll added two more in the fifth. Courtney Cloud scored on a throwing error after a single from Tianna Sell. Sell then scored on a Sacrifice hit by Megan Gipe to give Carroll the 3-2 lead.
Williams allowed just two hits over the final six innings to earn the Kalispell Glacier product her first collegiate win.
"In Game 2 we had to dig ourselves out of an early hole," Jackson said. "Ali pitched a heck of a game to give us a shot in the end, and we were able to capitalize. It is great to see the kids battle and earn a tough win."
ApRoberts tallied four hits in six at-bats on the day to earn a pair of RBIs and lead the offense. Sell notched three hits on eight at-bats, Allison Bayer had three hits in four at-bats and Courtney cloud added three more in six at-bats.
"I am pleased for our second day outside and seeing live at-bats," Jackson said. "I feel we are on the right track. We left to many runners on which lead to a split but all in all we gave ourselves the opportunity to win the series tomorrow. Anna ApRoberts had a huge day at the plate for us, and I am excited to get our offense rolling at full strength. That will come, the more games and live at-bats we get."
The Saints continue the series Saturday with the first game at noon. The opener counts as a Cascade Conference game, but the second game will go in the nonconference side of the record.
"Tomorrow it is all about winning the series and the weekend," Jackson said. "I believe this team took a big step today and can't wait for tomorrow."