GREENEVILLE, Tenn. --- The Tusculum College softball split a South Atlantic Conference doubleheader with visiting Mars Hill College Friday afternoon at Red Edmonds Field. Tusculum's Ashley Basilicato scored the winning run in the bottom of the sixth and Holli Cadenhead pitched three innings of perfect relief as the Pioneers prevailed in the opener 3-2. Mars Hill's Tara West tossed a three-hit shutout in a 3-0 win in the night-cap for the Lions (27-8, 1-3 SAC).
Game 1: Tusculum 3, Mars Hill 2
Anna Johnson went 2-for-3 as the Pioneers won its first SAC game of the season in a 3-2 victory in the opener.
Tusculum jumped out to a 2-0 lead as Jess Greer and Basilicato came through with RBI singles, scoring Jennifer Turley and Taylor MacDonald.
Mars Hill responded with a pair of runs in the fourth as the Lions utilized two hits and two errors. Natalie Haithcox reached on an error to lead off the frame and scored on Tiara Mitchell's third triple of the season. Mitchell would cross the plate with the tying run on a sacrifice fly by Ashley Seawell.
The score would remain tied until the bottom of the sixth as Basilicato drew a lead-off walk and moved to second on a bunt. Shanda Kimbrough lined a single and moved up a base on the throw to the plate as runners were on second and third. Lesli Huerta got on thanks to a fielders choice to load the bases. Following a strikeout, Basilicato scored the winning run on a failed pickoff attempt at third.
Cadenhead (4-4) retired the side in order in the seventh as the Pioneers prevailed 3-2. MHC reliever Paige Brantley suffered the loss, as she fell to 7-2.
Game 2: Mars Hill 3, Tusculum 0
West was dominating in the second game as she scattered three hits and struck out four, while the Lions took advantage of five Tusculum errors in a 3-0 win.
Seawell went 2-for-3 with a RBI, while Mitchell scored two of the Lions' three runs.
Mars Hill scored the first run of the game in the fourth inning as Mitchell reach on a three-base error and eventually cross the plate on Seawell's one-out single. MHC would add two more tallies in the sixth as Haithcox doubled and scored on a single by Mitchell, who moved to third on a fielding error on the play. Ashley Harber drove in Mitchell on a line-out to center field.
West (9-3) retired the side in order in the seventh as she finished with a pair of walks and four strikeouts in the win. Ashley Whitehead suffered the loss (2-7) as she went 3 1/3 innings, allowing two hits, an unearned run, walked one and struck out one.
Tusculum returns to action Monday when the Pioneers travel to Virginia-Wise for a doubleheader.