BMC sports wrap

If snow wiped out much of last week’s Blue Mountain College sports, this week’s schedule will make up for it.
Both women’s and men’s basketball teams will play nationally ranked teams on the road and at home; softball will hit the road for a doubleheader; and baseball will play one game on the road then return to open its home season.
Snow across the Mid-South region forced BMC to rework its basketball and baseball schedules. BMC’s Thursday night basketball games against Cumberland University in Lebanon, Tenn., were rescheduled for Feb. 21, and the Toppers baseball doubleheader against Williams Baptist College in Walnut Ridge, Ark., has been postponed until April 6.
Softball – Stephanie Dillard’s lead-off home run in the bottom of the seventh inning Saturday gave BMC its historic first softball victory – a 2-1 win over Williams Baptist College in the second game of an NAIA doubleheader.
WBC won the opening game, 5-0, behind the no-hit pitching of Karisa Hendrix. Meggin Nelson was the losing pitcher in the season-opener for both teams.
Dillard’s shot over the right field fence in second game snapped a pitchers’ duel between the Lady Toppers’ Brooke Denton and the Lady Eagles’ Tricia Driver.
Denton, who got BMC’s first hit and scored its first run in the first inning, scattered four hits and struck out six, to become the Lady Toppers’ first winning pitcher. She also started BMC’s first-ever double play when she caught a bunt pop up and doubled a runner off third in the sixth inning.
For WBC, Driver allowed only three hits, including two by Dillard, and struck out five BMC hitters.
Dillard also threw out a runner trying to score in the fourth inning, and the Lady Toppers got out of a sixth-inning jam when they turned a one-out, bases-loaded double play.
BMC goes on the road Friday to Walnut Ridge, Ark., to face Williams Baptist in another doubleheader.
Basketball – BMC travels to Pulaski, Tenn., on Thursday to take on Martin Methodist University. The Lady Toppers (5-17 overall and 1-10 in the TranSouth Athletic Conference) will tip-off against MMU (16-9, 5-6) at 4 p.m., followed by the Toppers (8-16, 2-9) against the No. 8 Red Hawks (24-1, 10-1).
On Saturday, the NAIA’s top-ranked Union Lady Bulldogs (23-1, 10-1) travel to Blue Mountain to face the Lady Toppers at 2 p.m. in Tyler Gymnasium. Union lost 58-56 at Freed-Hardeman last week – breaking a 28-game winning streak and a 61-game conference winning streak. The No. 16 Bulldogs (20-5, 9-2) will take on the Toppers in the second game.
 In BMC’s only games last week, Bethel College swept both ends of a TSAC doubleheader at BMC on Saturday afternoon.
The No. 6 Lady Wildcats, jumped out to a 22-point halftime lead and cruised to an 80-61 win, and in the nightcap the Wildcats overcame a 31-35 halftime deficit to take a 73-67 win.
In the women’s game, Erin Parish led the Lady Toppers with 12 points and Jessi Hayles had 9 points and 9 rebounds. For Bethel, 19-4 and 8-2, Molly Wallsmith had 18 points and Anna Trull had 13.
In the men’s game, Lakendrick McCullum scored 19 points to lead the Toppers while Tyler Shaver and Josh McCalmon each had 12 and Renell Collins had 11. Bethel, 15-9 and 4-6, was led by Andre Crudup and Jarvis Palmer with 19 each, Caleb Hardy with 12 and Daniel Doyle with 11.
Baseball – Snow and icy roads forced postponement of the Toppers trip to face Williams Baptist. This week they travel to Jackson, Tenn., on Wednesday to play a 9-inning game against Lambuth University, then return to the New Albany SportsPlex to face Tougaloo College in a 5 p.m. game Friday, and a 1 p.m. doubleheader on Saturday.

About Chris Elkins

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