Johnson, Wicklund and Bruso continue to shine in college ball |

Johnson, Wicklund and Bruso continue to shine in college ball

Belmont University’s softball team claimed its second tournament championship of the season after sweeping Mercer University by scores of 4-2 and 12-4 last Sunday.

The Bruins ran the table during the season’s first weekend to win the Mercer Spring Invitational, and now can add the Belmont Fastpitch Spring Invitational title to their collection. The Knoxville, Tenn., club was in second place following the tournament’s first day, trailing the University of Evansville (an 8-0 winner over the Bruins). However, the Lady Aces withdrew from the tournament, leaving Belmont in control of its destiny.

Game one required extra innings to determine a winner with the Bruins prevailing in the eighth inning. Belmont overcame three errors to grab the victory.

Freshman Stacy Hill put an exclamation point on a 3 for 4 day with a two-out, two run double in the top of the eighth. That proved to be the winning margin as senior Kim Turner (3-2) shut out the Lady Bears in the bottom half of the inning to earn her third victory of the year.

Belmont pounded out 10 hits to Mercer’s five, but allowed the Lady Bears to capitalize on defensive miscues to score two unearned runs.

The Bruins placed the finishing touches on a successful weekend with a 12-4 victory over Mercer in game two.

This time it was the Bruins turn to take advantage of the Lady Bears’ mistakes. Mercer committed four errors that led kept alive two big innings for the Bruins.

Hill (2-4) was the recipient of a seven-run fifth inning that secured her second pitching victory of the season. Freshman Margo Mizell’s two-run, pinch-hit single opened the floodgates in the fifth.

Three Bruins had two hits a piece, including South Tahoe High product Angela Johnson (2-4, 2 runs, 2 RBIs), Jennifer Smithson (2-3, 1 run, 2 RBIs), and Kim Turner (2-4, 1 run, 1 RBI), while sophomore Beth Davis hit her first home run as a Bruin to start the second inning.

Belmont improves to 25-24 with the sweep while the Lady Bears fell to 14-34. The Bruins now have improved by 20 wins over last season’s disappointing 5-37 mark and returned to action on Wednesday when they faced Tennessee- Martin.

Whittell High grad Aaron Wicklund slapped three hits as Centenary College won two of three games against Campbell last weekend in Buies Creek, N.C.

Wicklund went 1 for 2 with his fifth stolen base and his ninth sacrifice bunt in the Gent’s 6-5 win last Friday. He was 0 for 3 with two strikeouts in the Gents’ 4-3 second-game win.

However, the slump didn’t last long as he came back for two hits in four at-bats in a 4-2 loss to Campbell last Saturday.

Greg Bruso, a 1998 STHS grad, has experienced some tough luck this month as UC-Davis’ only freshman player.

The 6-foot-2 right-handed pitcher tossed a complete-game five-hitter against San Francisco State on April 9, but the Aggies lost 3-2. He fanned five and walked four as the Aggies scored too little too late – two runs in their final at-bat.

Bruso only lasted three innings in his latest start against Stanislaus State on Saturday, giving up two runs, but the Aggies rebounded for a 3-2 victory.

Bruso has a 3-3 record with a 4.64 earned run average in eight starts and one relief appearance for Davis, 27-17 overall. He’s also fanned 31 batters and walked 12.

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