Pioneers defeat Concord and Shepherd to extend win streak to four

Pioneers defeat Concord and Shepherd to extend win streak to four

- The Tusculum College softball team extended its winning streak to four games with a pair of wins on Monday at the National Collegiate Sports Invitational. The Pioneers defeated Concord 4-1 and shut out Shepherd 8-0 in six innings on the first of three days of action.

The Pioneers (10-11) will play the same two teams tomorrow evening from the Central Park Sports Complex, facing Shepherd at 5 p.m. followed by Concord at 7:30.

Tusculum 4, Concord 1
(Box Score)

Senior righthander Elizabeth Johnson pitched a four-hitter and struck out a career-high 11 batters, while the Tusculum bats pounded out 10 hits in the victory over the Mountain Lions (5-9).

Johnson (4-7) surpassed her previous career high of eight strikeouts set in 2010 and matched in 2011. She did not walk a batter and shut out the Mountain Lions over the final five innings.

Carolyn Williamson went 3-for-4 with a two-run single in the second inning, and Paige Sneed added a two-run double in the seventh to give the Pioneers some much-welcomed insurance. Lindsey Umberger was 2-for-4 at the plate for Tusculum in the win.

The Pioneers got on the scoreboard in the second as Umberger singled with one out and Nicole Ball was hit by a pitch. Samantha Silver then singled with two outs to load the bases for Williamson, who came through with a single to right to drive home Umberger and Ball with the first two runs of the game.

Concord came back with a run in the bottom of the second inning as Becca Gleason led off with a triple and scored on a single by Stephanie Harper.

From there, Johnson and Concord starter Lacey McDougall matched zeroes until the seventh, when Williamson led off with a single and Alix Kruel was safe on an error. After a bunt and a popup left runners at second and third with two outs, Sneed delivered a double to left field that brought home Williamson and Kruel for a 4-1 Pioneer lead.

McDougall (4-5) gave up 10 hits and four runs (two earned) with three strikeouts and no walks in a complete-game performance for the Mountain Lions.

Tusculum 8, Shepherd 0 (6 innings)
(Box Score)

Kelly King threw a three-hit shutout and Sneed and Ball had two hits and three RBIs apiece to lead the Pioneers to the run-rule victory over the Rams (4-8).

King (6-4) threw her third shutout of the season and lowered her earned run average to 1.28 in the victory. She walked one and struck out a pair while working around four errors by her defense.

Meanwhile, the Pioneers plated six runs in the first four innings and added two more in the sixth to invoke the eight-run rule. Tusculum had just seven hits in the game, but drew five walks and took advantage of three Shepherd errors to score four unearned runs.

After a scoreless first inning, the Pioneers got on the board in the top of the second against Rams starter Shannon Lyons. With two outs, Ball walked and Leah Powell reached first on a strikeout/wild pitch. Miranda Beeler then reached on an error, allowing Ball to score the game's first run.

In the third, Kaytlin Stroinski walked with one out and took second on a single by Katie Brennan. Sneed then came through with a single to center that drove home Stroinski for a 2-0 Tusculum lead. Brennan then came home on a wild pitch by Lyons to extend the Pioneer advantage to 3-0.

Tusculum extended its lead with three runs in the fourth. Williamson led off with a single and stole second, and a single by Kruel and an error loaded the bases with no outs. Sneed knocked in Williamson with a fielder's choice grounder to give the Pioneers a 4-0 lead, and Ball capped the rally with a two-out, two-run single which brought home Kruel and Stroinski and sent Lyons to the Shepherd bench in favor of reliever Tiffany Biggs.

The Pioneers built their 8-0 margin in the sixth with two runs off Biggs. Brennan walked with one out and came all the way around on a double by Sneed, and one out later Ball tripled home pinch-runner Silver for the eighth run of the night for the Pioneers.

Lyons (1-2) allowed six runs (two earned) on five hits in 3 2/3 innings, with four strikeouts and four walks. Biggs gave up two earned runs on two hits and fanned three in 2 1/3 innings of relief for the Rams.

- TC -