Anderson sweeps Tusculum in SAC regular-season finale

Anderson sweeps Tusculum in SAC regular-season finale

The Tusculum College softball team closed out the South Atlantic Conference portion of its regular-season schedule by dropping both ends of a doubleheader at Anderson University Saturday afternoon.

The host Trojans (35-11, 12-6 SAC) won the opener 7-6 and took game two 10-6 with four runs in the bottom of the sixth inning against the Pioneers (29-22, 9-9 SAC).

Tusculum will conclude its regular season Sunday at 1:00 p.m. at Red Edmonds Field with a non-conference twinbill against King College. The Pioneers will celebrate Senior Day prior to the doubleheader.

Game 1: Anderson 7, Tusculum 6
(Box Score)

Laura Jansky went 3-for-4 with a home run and Abby Child added a two-run homer as the Trojans overcame a 4-1 deficit and held on for the win in the opener.

Ashley Burke led the Pioneers by going 3-for-4 with a double and three runs batted in, but the top five batters in the Trojans' lineup accounted for all 10 of the team's hits and all seven runs.

Tusculum took a 1-0 lead against Anderson starter Amber Duncan in the top of the first as Burke doubled home Kaytlin Stroinski, who was hit by a pitch with two outs.

Anderson came back in the bottom of the first inning with a run off Tusculum starter Elizabeth Johnson. Jessica Neidigh led off with a triple and scored on a two-out error to knot the score at 1-1.

The Pioneers struck back for three unearned runs in the top of the third to take a 4-1 lead. Burke drove home two runs with a single and Katie Brennan added an RBI single in the inning.

Two big hits gave the Trojans a 5-4 lead in the bottom half of the frame. Danielle Swygert delivered a two-run single to pull Anderson within a run, and Jansky followed with a two-run home run to put the Trojans ahead 5-4.

The Trojans tacked on two more runs in the fourth on a two-run homer by Child, but the Pioneers responded with two runs in the top of the fifth on an RBI groundout by Brennan and a run-scoring double by Lindsey Umberger.

Umberger's double would be the final hit of the game for the Pioneers, whose only baserunner off Duncan in the final two innings was a one-out walk in the seventh. However, a line drive double play would end the game.

Duncan gave up seven hits and six runs (three earned) while striking out three and walking three. Johnson (24-11) surrendered five extra-base hits among the 10 hits she allowed, while issuing three walks and whiffing three.

Katie Gross drew a pair of walks and scored two runs for the Pioneers, while Stroinski also crossed the plate two times.

Game 2: Anderson 10, Tusculum 6
(Box Score)

Tusculum erased a 6-2 deficit with two runs in the fifth and two more in the sixth, but Neidigh hit a tiebreaking three-run home run in the bottom of the sixth to push Anderson ahead for good.

Neidigh finished 3-for-4 with two doubles, a home run, six runs batted in and two runs scored for the Trojans, who piled up 13 hits in the game.

The Pioneers tallied 10 hits in the nightcap, led by 2-for-3 performances from Gross and Stroinski. Burke had two more runs batted in for the Pioneers in game two, who got hits from eight of their nine starters.

Just as they did in the opener, the Pioneers scored a first-inning run to take an early 1-0 lead. Gross singled with one out and came all the way around on a double by Stroinski off Duncan, who started game two as well for the Trojans.

Stroinski started for the Pioneers and retired the first six batters before giving up a leadoff single in the third to Stephanie Hanvey. Anderson would go on to score three times in the inning on an RBI double by Neidigh and a two-run single by Child.

Tusculum pulled within 3-2 in the fourth on a sacrifice fly by Ashley Bagley, only to see Anderson take advantage of an error to score three unearned runs in the bottom of the fourth on an RBI single by Rachel Rhodes and a two-run double by Neidigh.

Trailing 6-2 in the fifth, the Pioneers cut the deficit in half on a two-run single by Burke. In the sixth, Tusculum tied the game on RBI singles by Katy Stuckwish and Gross, the latter with two outs.

Anderson regained the lead in the bottom of the sixth as back-to-back singles set up Neidigh for a three-run home run and a 9-6 Trojan lead. Swygert closed out the scoring with an RBI groundout.

Stroinski (2-8) gave up six earned runs and struck out three for the Pioneers, while Duncan (20-8) allowed six earned runs and fanned five for the Trojans.

- TC -