Tusculum splits pair to wrap up Pioneer Classic

Tusculum splits pair to wrap up Pioneer Classic

GREENEVILLE, Tenn. --- The Tusculum softball team split its two games in the final day of the 2018 Pioneer Classic at Red Edmonds Field.

The Pioneers lost 2-0 to Virginia-Wise in their first game, but bounced back with an 8-0 win over Goldey-Beacom in six innings.

Tusculum completed the Pioneer Classic weekend with a 4-1 record to improve to 14-9 overall on the season.  The Pioneers will host New Haven on Tuesday for a 3 p.m. doubleheader at Red Edmonds Field.

Virginia-Wise 2, Tusculum 0

Taylor Brandts (5-2) tossed a five-hit shutout with nine strikeouts in leading UVa-Wise to a 2-0 win over Tusculum.  The Cavaliers improve to 11-5 on the season and complete the Pioneer Classic with a perfect 4-0 record including wins over Belmont Abbey and Tusculum and Saturday.

It was a pitchers' duel between Brandts and Tusculum starter Allison Pate.  The two hurlers posted goose eggs through the first five innings. 

Both teams had chances in the first inning as UVa-Wise had runners at second and third with one out, but Pate got out of trouble with a pair of foul outs.  Tusculum got a Delaney Guerrero single and she moved to third base on Taylor Johnson's base hit.  But Brandts came up with a strikeout to end the threat.

The game remained scoreless until the top of the sixth when Bridget Henzel hit a solo blast over the left field wall for a 1-0 lead.

Tusculum outfielder Taylor Battle lined a single up the middle to start the bottom of the sixth inning.  Guerrero bunted her over to put Battle into scoring position. But Brandts got a strikeout and a fly out to preserve the 1-0 lead.

The Cavaliers tacked on an insurance run in the seventh inning as pinch-hitter Casey Chambers led off with a double, moved to second on a bunt and scored on Madison David's sacrifice fly out to deep center field.

Brandts worked around a lead-off single in the seventh to secure the win to improve to 5-2 on the season.  Pate went the distance to fall to 6-4, allowing two runs on seven hits, zero walks and five strikeouts.

Guerrero finished the game with two hits for the Pioneers.

Tusculum 8, Goldey-Beacom 0 (6 innings)

Anna Alloway went 3-for-4 including her team-leading fifth home run as Tusculum defeated Goldey-Beacom 8-0 in six innings.

The Pioneers finished the game with 13 hits, including five in a five-run sixth inning which included Emily Hester's three-run blast to end the game.

Tusculum starter Taylor Plemons improved to 5-4 on the season with her third shutout of the year.  She allowed five hits, one walk and four strikeouts as she went 2-0 in the circle and posted a save in her three outings this weekend at the Pioneer Classic.

Battle finished the game going 2-for-4 with two RBI which included her fifth triple of the season, while Taylor Johnson went 2-for-4 in the victory.