GULF SHORES, Ala. ---- After a 6-1 win over Thomas to start the day, the Auburn Montgomery softball team's 13-game winning streak to start 2013 came to a close with a 4-1 setback to Blue Mountain at the Gulf Coast Invitational.
AUM did most of its damage in the third inning, scoring five runs off of Night Hawk starter Aimee Johnson. Laci Driggers drove in Emma Johansen with a single to right field for the game's first run. Pepper then hit her three-run shot to break the game open. The long ball was her third of the season, which is tied for second on the team.
Katie Spain followed Pepper's homer with one of her own to make it 5-0. The sophomore third baseman has three home runs during the tournament, and seven for the year.
Powell (4-0) struck out five batters, while giving up four hits and a walk. The Warhawks have played Thomas three times this season, defeating the Night Hawks 6-1 in each contest. Pepper and Spain each went 2 for 3 in the opening game.
AUM wasted several scoring opportunities against Blue Mountain (8-8-1), scoring just one run despite 10 hits. The Toppers also took advantage of Warhawk miscues, as two of their four runs were unearned off of starter Kayla Hale (3-1).
Blue Mountain scored one run in the second and third innings, and added two more in the fourth. Paige Nielsen singled in Powell for AUM's only run in the bottom of the fourth after Powell had doubled to begin the frame.
Hale fanned nine Toppers in four innings, surrendering five hits and two walks. Powell pitched three more scoreless innings to close out the game, striking out two and giving up one hit. She has yet to allow an earned run in 26 2/3 innings this season.
Spain, Nielsen and Johansen each had a pair of hits in the defeat. Spain has registered at least two hits in 9 of 14 games this year.
The Warhawks conclude play at the Gulf Coast Invitational tomorrow morning with an 11 a.m. matchup against 15th-ranked Lindsey Wilson. The Blue Raiders (14-1) will be AUM's first ranked opponent this season.