AIKEN, S.C. --- The USC Aiken softball team hit six home runs on the day as the Lady Pacers swept a doubleheader against visiting Tusculum College Friday afternoon at J.H. Satcher Field. USCA won the opener 5-4 in eight innings and rallied with six runs in the sixth inning to capture the second game 6-3. USC Aiken improves to 15-9 overall, while the Pioneers fall to 8-3 on the year.
Game 1: USC Aiken 5, Tusculum 4 (8 innings)
Jessica Strickland went 3-for-4 and homered twice, including her walk-off solo shot in the eighth inning as the Lady Pacers won 5-4.
USCA jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the first inning thanks to three home runs, including Strickland's two-run blast. But the Pioneers answered with a run in the second, two in the sixth and a run in the seventh in to send the contest to extra innings.
Tusculum mustered out 11 hits in the opener as all nine starters accounted for a hit, including multi-hit performances by Chrissy Wilkison and Mackenzie Loy. The Pioneers recorded four doubles in the game, including Holli Cadenhead's two-run double in the sixth.
Samantha Blair went the distance as she allowed four runs, three earned, 11 hits, walked one and struck out eight to improve her record to 10-5. Tusculum starter Megan DuBois (4-2) pitched 7.2 innings as she allowed six hits, five runs, walked one and struck out one.
Game 2: USC Aiken 6, Tusculum 3
USC Aiken erupted for six runs in the sixth inning, including Megan Lakes three-run homer as the Lady Pacers rallied from a 3-0 deficit en route to a 6-3 win.
Lakes, Sherelle Brooks and Jessica Hoffman each accounted for two hits. Kendra Baker added a two-run shot in the sixth to seal the win.
Tusculum got its three runs in the third inning thanks to Brie Griffin's three-run blast, scoring Anna Johnson and Wilkison. Wilkinson and Johnson each went 2-for-3 for the Pioneers.
Toni Flessate picked up the win as she went seven innings, allowed five hits, three runs, walked three and fanned four. Cadenhead started for the Pioneers as she surrendered 11 hits and six runs in her six innings.
Tusculum is back on the road Saturday for a 1 p.m. doubleheader at Armstrong Atlantic State University.