HATTIESBURG, Miss. ---- Freshman Taylor Powell came through on both sides of the ball for the Auburn Montgomery softball team at 10th-ranked William Carey this afternoon.
Powell hit a go-ahead two-run single in the ninth inning of Game 1, leading the Warhawks to a 3-2 victory, and she helped AUM complete the sweep with seven innings of one-run ball on the mound in a 4-1 Game 2 win.
The Warhawks (28-5, 6-4 SSAC) are now 7-2 against ranked opponents this season. William Carey fell to 26-9, 12-4 in the Southern States Athletic Conference.
Cassie Daniels (12-1) limited the Crusaders to just three hits over nine innings, the longest outing of her career and her seventh complete game of the season. She allowed two runs (one earned) with two strikeouts and six walks, lowering her season ERA to 1.97.
AUM grabbed a 1-0 lead in the top of the fourth inning. Katie Spain started the rally with a two-out double down the left field line. She then scored after Crusader pitcher Brittany Lang (8-4) threw away a groundball from Kayla Hale. Spain finished the game 2 for 3 with a walk and two runs scored.
The Crusaders equalized with a two-out run of their own in the fifth. Hannah Cook-Kelley drove a single to left-center to plate Kayla Byrd.
Both pitchers ensured that the game would go into extra innings, with neither allowing another run through eight.
Spain got the Warhawks going in the ninth with a single to left, and Hale immediately followed with a double to put runners on second and third. Powell stepped up as a pinch-hitter and drilled a single to left-center to score both runs.
William Carey made things interesting in the bottom of the frame, loading the bases with no one out. Daniels then forced back-to-back pop outs before a Jyssica Pepper error extended the game and allowed the Crusaders to cut the deficit to one. Jasmine Shelby, however, grounded back to Daniels with the bases loaded to help AUM edge out the win.
Leslie Kelly went 3 for 4 from the plate to lead the Warhawk offense. She collected her first three-hit game of the season.
AUM jumped out in front in the third inning of Game 2. Emma Johansen began the inning with a walk, and she was sacrificed to second by Rachel Stuart. Laci Driggers then doubled her home with a shot to left center.
The Warhawks added three insurance runs in the fifth. Driggers and Pepper began the inning with back-to-back doubles. Driggers went 3 for 4 in Game 2, and was the only Warhawk to record multiple hits in the nightcap.
Haley Johnson hit an infield to shortstop later in the inning to score Pepper. Pinch-hitter Lauren Shaw drove in AUM's fourth run with a two-out single to left.
Four runs was more than enough for Powell (10-2) on the mound. William Carey scored its only run on a two-out double in the fifth. Powell cruised through the rest of the contest, striking out five in her third complete game of 2013. She lowered her team-leading ERA to 1.88.
The Warhawks improved to 6-12 lifetime against the notoriously tough Crusaders with the sweep.
AUM will now look towards a rematch with Faulkner on Tuesday. The Lady Eagles (19-11-1, 5-8-1 SSAC) took both games at the AUM Softball Complex earlier this week. Tuesday's doubleheader is slated to begin at 4 p.m. at Faulkner.