Pioneers stay hot,, defeat Concord and Shepherd

Pioneers stay hot,, defeat Concord and Shepherd

The Tusculum College softball team pounded out 25 hits and scored 17 runs in a pair of victories Tuesday evening at the National Collegiate Sports Invitational. The Pioneers defeated Shepherd 8-3 and beat Concord 9-1 to extend their winning streak to a season-high six games.

The Pioneers (12-11) wrap up play in the tournament with two games on Wednesday, as they will face Principia at 9:30 a.m. followed by Glenville State at 2:30 p.m.

Tusculum 8, Shepherd 3
(Box Score)

Carolyn Williamson and Nicole Ball had three hits apiece as the Pioneers piled up 16 hits against the Rams. Four other players had two hits each to help Tusculum defeat Shepherd for the third time this season.

Williamson singled twice, doubled and drove in three runs for the Pioneers, while Ball had a pair of doubles and scored twice. Miranda Beeler also had two hits and three runs scored out of the ninth spot in the lineup, and Leah Powell singled, doubled and scored twice.

The Pioneers opened the scoring in the bottom of the second with three runs off Rams starter Tiffany Biggs. Ball doubled with one out and scored on a single from Powell. After a bunt single by Beeler, Williamson doubled home both Ball and Powell to give the Pioneers a 3-0 lead.

The Rams got on the scoreboard in the fourth against Pioneer reliever Kelly King, who came on in the third inning. Carly Schmidt led off the inning with a triple and scored on a groundout by Tayler Schaefer to trim the Tusculum lead to 3-1.

The Pioneers got two runs back in the bottom of the fourth to go on top 5-1. Powell led off with a double, took third on a bunt single by Beeler and scored on a single by Williamson. Alix Kruel followed with another RBI single to knock in Beeler and give the Pioneers a 5-1 advantage.

Tusculum scored twice more in the fifth off Shepherd reliever Shannon Lyons. Ball led off with a double, moved to third on a passed ball and scored on a error for a 6-1 Tusculum lead. Kruel added her second RBI single in as many innings to drive home Beeler and give the Pioneers a 7-1 edge.

The Pioneers plated their eighth run of the game in the bottom of the sixth as Samantha Silver led off with a pinch single, took second on a single by Lindsey Umberger and scored on a single by Ball. Tusculum loaded the bases with one out, but was unable to end the game via the eight-run rule.

Shepherd came back with two runs in the top of the seventh on a two-out, two-run home run by Savannah Snyder, but King ended the game by retiring Schmidt on a grounder to Umberger at short.

Kruel was 2-for-4 with a walk and two runs batted in for the Pioneers, while Kaytlin Stroinski also went 2-for-4 at the plate, including a double. Shepherd finished with nine hits in the game, including a 3-for-4 effort from Shanan Plunkett.

King (7-4) pitched the final 4 2/3 innings for the Pioneers, allowing six hits and three runs while striking out two. Elizabeth Johnson got the start for Tusculum, and gave up three hits and two walks over 2 1/3 scoreless innings before departing.

Biggs (3-6) surrendered 10 hits and five runs in four innings for the Rams (4-8), striking out two and walking a pair. Lyons pitched the final two innings in relief, yielding six hits and three runs (one earned) while striking out three.

Tusculum 9, Concord 1
(Box Score)

A four-run third inning sent the Pioneers on their way to their sixth straight victory, while Johnson (5-7) tossed a complete-game six-hitter and struck out seven.

Umberger led the Pioneers at the plate by going 3-for-4 with three runs batted in and two runs scored. Kruel and Katie Brennan each had two RBIs and Beeler scored a pair of runs for the Pioneers, who have scored 40 runs during their six-game win streak.

Tusculum was held without a hit in the first two innings by Concord starter Lacey McDougall, but the Pioneers broke through with four runs on four hits in the third. Powell led off with an infield single and moved to second on a walk to Beeler. Williamson was safe on a fielder's choice to load the bases for Kruel, who came through with a two-run single to knock in Powell and Beeler with the game's first two runs.

After a groundout, Stroinski singled home Williamson for the third run of the inning. Following a walk to Paige Sneed, Umberger was safe on an infield single as Kruel scored for a 4-0 Pioneer lead.

The Mountain Lions got a run back in the bottom of the third on an RBI double by Kristi Benvenuto, and the Pioneers carried a 4-1 lead through the fifth inning before breaking loose with two runs in the sixth and three more in the seventh.

In the sixth, Umberger led off with a single and scored on a triple by Brennan for a 5-1 Pioneer lead. With two outs and Beeler on second, Williamson delivered an RBI single that gave the Pioneers a 6-1 advantage through six innings.

Tusculum put the game away with three runs in the seventh, as Stroinski led off the frame by reaching on an error and Kristyna Vaughn reached on an infield single. Umberger tripled home both runners for an 8-1 lead, and later scored on a groundout by Brennan that capped the scoring.

For the Mountain Lions, Stephanie Harper accounted for half of her team's hits with three singles in as many at-bats. McDougall (4-6) gave up all nine runs (eight earned) on nine hits, but struck out eight to go along with three walks.

- TC -