CLINTON — The Clinton River Queens gave the seventh-ranked Burlington Grayhounds a scare in Game 2 of their Mississippi Athletic Conference doubleheader Thursday.

After rolling to a 13-0 win in the opener, Burlington built an early 4-0 lead in the second game. But, Clinton battled back, working within a run at 5-4 after five innings, only to see the Grayhounds respond with two late runs and go on to a 7-4 win and the sweep at Chancy Park.

Trailing 5-2 in the bottom of the fifth inning of Game 2, the River Queens tried to fight their way back. With one out Lindsey Thornton singled to center. She moved to second on a wild pitch, then to third on Sarah Johnson’s infield hit.

Johnson swiped second uncontested before Sarah Graf lofted a sacrifice fly to center. Thornton scored on the play and Johnson moved to third. Johnson then scored on Bailee Stauffer’s RBI single to center, making it 5-4.

But, Burlington responded, as Tiffany McVey’s two-run double in the sixth put the Grayhounds up 7-4.

Burlington coach Larry Heath then turned to Renee Dunkin, who fired a two-hitter in Game 1, to finish Game 2. Dunkin did just that, retiring all six batters she faced over the final two innings.

River Queens coach Renee Shovlain was encouraged by her team’s performance in the second game.

“In the second game we stepped it up and put some runs on the board and got out of some tough defensive situations,” she said. “It was a confidence boost to cut it to one run against Burlington that late in the game.”

The Grayhounds jumped in front 3-0 with three first-inning runs. Anna Nelson had an RBI triple in the inning, and Heather Heuvelmann a run-scoring single. Burlington made it 4-0 with a run in the second.

Clinton cut the margin in half with two runs in the bottom of the second. Stauffer reached on an error to start the inning. She promptly stole second.

With one out Brittany Edfors drew a walk. Courtney Kadner then reached on a fielder’s choice, as Stauffer was forced out at third.

No. 9 hitter Olivia Kraft then dumped a popup behind second base that Burlington allowed to drop, with Edfors scoring on the play.

Whitney Miller followed with an infield hit to load the bases. Thornton then stroked an RBI single to right and the bases remained loaded.

The Queens could not add any more runs in the inning as Johnson was thrown out on a close play as her ground ball up the middle was deflected by Grayhounds starting pitcher Connie Ferrill to shortstop Allison Setterberg who fired to first to get Johnson on a bang-bang play.

Burlington went up 5-2 with a run in the third.

Game 1 was virtually all Grayhounds. After going hitless and scoreless in the first two innings against Clinton pitcher Megan Osterhaus, Burlington scored in each of the last five innings and piled up 18 hits along the way, 17 of them singles.

Six errors damaged the Queens’ chances, leading to seven unearned runs.

Edfors and Erica Florence had Clinton’s only hits in the opener, cracking back-to-back singles to start the fifth. The Queens’ only other baserunners were Miller, who reached on an error in the fourth, and Edfors, who reached on an error in the seventh.

“Game 2 went a lot better than Game 1,” Shovlain said. “Game 1 we didn’t show up to play. We had too many mistakes. We’re struggling to get runners on, and when we do we can’t move them around and score. There were some encouraging things, but I’m extremely concerned about our offense. We’re lacking confidence in our hitting.”

Game 1

Score by Innings

Burlington 001 412 5 — 13 18 2

Clinton 000 000 0 — 0 2 6

Renee Dunkin and Anna Nelson. Megan Osterhaus and Lindsey Thornton.

Two or more hits—Burlington, Whitney Plein 3, Allison Setterberg, Tiffany McVey, A. Nelson 3, Heather Heuvelmann, Kirsten Kramer 3. 3B—Burlington, Kramer. RBI—Burlington, Plein 2, McVey, Hannah Parker 2, Heuvelmann, Kramer.

Game 2

Score by Innings

Burlington 311 002 0 — 7 12 1

Clinton 020 020 0 — 4 7 3

Connie Ferrill, Dunkin (6) and Kara Atkins. Courtney Kadner and Thornton.

Two or more hits—Burlington, McVey, A. Nelson 3, Heuvelmann; Clinton, Whitney Miller, Thornton. 2B—Burlington, Plein, Heuvelmann, McVey. 3B—Burlington, A. Nelson. RBI—Burlington, McVey 2, A. Nelson, Heuvelmann 2; Clinton, Thornton, Sarah Graf, Bailee Stauffer, Olivia Kraft.

Records—Burlington 18-2, 5-1 Mississippi Athletic Conference; Clinton 2-10, 0-6. Next game—Clinton at Pleasant Valley Coke Classic, Friday and Saturday.

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