WINGATE, N.C. --- The Wingate University softball team received shut outs from Brittany Blankenship (Midlothian, Va.) and Meredith Harris (Kittrell, N.C.) as the Bulldogs defeated Tusculum College 1-0 and 8-0 in South Atlantic Conference action Thursday afternoon at the Wingate University softball complex.
With the two victories, Wingate remains undefeated in the SAC with a 4-0 league ledger. The Bulldogs are 20-10 overall and winners of seven games in a row and nine of their last 10 contests. Tusculum falls to 8-13 overall and 0-3 in the SAC.
Game 1: Wingate 1, Tusculum 0
Wingate sophomore Leyila Myers (Marietta, Ga.) stroked a walk-off single down the right-field line to plate the only run of the game in a 1-0 win over the Pioneers.
In the bottom of the seventh, Bulldog center fielder LaRonda McClain (Kings Mountain, N.C.) led off with a single. Hallie Pettigrew (Uniontown, Ohio) reached on an error to put runners on first and second. Tusculum starting pitcher Megan DuBois (Chino, Calif.) walked first baseman Courtney Wagner (Myrtle Beach, S.C.) intentionally to load the bases. The free pass was Wagner's third intentional walk of the afternoon.
Two outs later, Myers connected with a two-strike pitch down the right-field line. Tusculum right fielder Lesli Huerta (Van Vleck, Texas) made a valiant diving try to make the catch, but to no avail as the Bulldogs posted the victory.
Both Blankenship and DuBois pitched solid games for their respective teams. Blankenship improved to 10-5 overall with her 12th complete game of the season. She struck out five and walked one. DuBois was the tough luck loser, striking out five and walking six. The Wingate run was unearned. Both Blankenship and DuBois allowed five hits each.
Game 2: Wingate 8, Tusculum 0 (six innings)
The Bulldog offense supported pitcher Meredith Harris with eight runs on 12 hits in the nightcap. Wingate catcher Jamie Millen (Monroe, N.C.) she hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the first inning for the only runs Harris would need.
Three Bulldogs had multiple hits in the second game. Myers was 3-for-4 with one RBI and one run scored. Pettigrew also stroked three hits. She scored two runs and collected one stolen base. Millen was 2-for-3 with a home run and three RBI.
Harris notched a career-high nine strikeouts and issued only one walk. Pioneer shortstop Ashley Basilicato (East Patchogue, N.Y.) had two of Tusculum's three hits. Basilicato went 2-for-3 with a double.
Tusculum right-hander Holli Cadenhead (Van Vleck, Texas) was the losing pitcher in game two. In three-plus innings, Cadenhead allowed four runs on eight hits. She struck out one and walked one. Pioneer reliever Cori McVeigh (Jonesborough, Tenn.) worked 2 2/3 innings. She gave up four unearned runs on four hits. McVeigh walked two Wingate batters.
Tusculum returns home on Friday for a 1 p.m. doubleheader against SAC rival Mars Hill at Red Edmonds Field.