HELENA -- Carroll College softball split a doubleheader with the University of Providence, losing the first Cascade Conference game, 7-3, before winning the nonconference finale, 10-2, in five innings.
The Saints (27-13, 13-8 CCC) sit fifth in the Cascade Conference standings. Providence (7-23, 5-15 CCC) currently sits eighth. Six teams make the conference tournament and five teams are still in the running for the conference regular-season title, including Carroll.
In Game 1 Sunday, the Argos got the scoring going early with a run on a passed ball to take a 1-0 lead in the top of the first.
The Saints answered with a two-run home run in the bottom of the third to take a 2-1 lead.
Providence responded with a three-run fourth inning to take a 4-2 lead.
In the bottom of the fourth, Brittany Hogan doubled to left field to score Brittany Smith to cut the deficit to 4-3, but that would be all of the runs that the Saints would muster.
The Argos added a run in the fifth and two in the seventh to take a 7-3 lead and ultimately hold on for the four-run win.
Tess Eaton lost for the first time this season and is now 10-1 on the year. She struck out seven and walked four in the game.
The Saints outhit the Argos 7-6, but failed to get timely hitting and left eight runners on base.
In the second game, the Carroll offense got going early and often.
The Saints got on the board when Kendall Mooney reached on a fielder’s choice that scored Anna ApRoberts. Brittany Smith singled in the next at-bat to score Allison Bayer. Carroll added two more runs on wild pitches.
The fifth and final run of the inning came when Brooke Yarnall stole second and Smith advanced home on the throw.
Providence added a run in the second, but Carroll responded with a pair of runs on bases-loaded walks to take a 7-1 lead.
The Saints went up 8-1 in the bottom of the third when Courtney Schroeder grounded out to third but scored Katie Huisman from third.
Providence scored one in the fourth, but the Saints picked up two with a triple down the right-field line to score Smith. The final run came on a Huisman single to center field to score Ashley Davis.
Brooke Brown moved to 5-5 on the year. She struck out five without a walk and allowed just three hits.
The Saints notched 11 hits. Bayer went 2-2 on the day. She picked up a hit in every game of the 10-game homestand. In the 10-game stretch, she went 19 for 33 (.576 average) with six doubles and a home run. As a team on the homestand, the Saints batted .302 and had a team ERA of 1.28.
The Saints have 10 games remaining on the slate, beginning with a doubleheader against Montana in Missoula Wednesday. Then they head to Southern Oregon next weekend. The games in Missoula will be broadcast live on SWX Montana.