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Williamson Walkoff leads Pioneers to DH split with #19 Wingate

Williamson Walkoff leads Pioneers to DH split with #19 Wingate
GREENEVILLE, Tenn. --- Carolyn Williamson legged out a two-run walkoff infield single that gave the Tusculum College softball team a 3-2 victory over 19th-ranked Wingate University in the second game of a doubleheader at Red Edmonds Field on Sunday afternoon. The Bulldogs won the first contest 5-0 after a masterful pitching performance from Stacey Houser.

The Pioneers keep their overall record at .500 at 9-9 with the split, while Wingate moves to 11-9. It was the South Atlantic Conference opener for both squads as they both start the league slate with a 1-1 record. Tusculum will be back in action tomorrow night at home against east Tennessee rival King University. First pitch of the twinbill is set for 5 p.m. at Edmonds Field.


Game 1: #19 Wingate 5, Tusculum 0 (Box Score)

Houser (7-7) threw a one-hit shutout with three strikeouts in Wingate's 5-0 victory over Tusculum in game one of the doubleheader.

TC's lone hit came off the bat of Nicole Ball in the bottom of the third. Kaytlin Stroinski, Williamson and Alix Kruel also were able to coax out walks off Houser.

Tusculum's Rachel Medley (3-5) took the loss in the circle after allowing three earned runs off six hits in four innings of work. Cayla Cecil pitched three innings in relief and surrendered one earned run off four hits.

The Bulldogs were led by Alexis Burrell at the plate as she had two hits including an RBI triple. Mellena Helms also had a pair of base knocks, while Misty Doran drove in two runs with a double.

Wingate got off to a hot start with two runs in the top of the first inning off three hits, including Burrell's three-bagger. The Bulldogs added solo runs to their tally in the fourth, sixth and seventh inning, while Houser did her work in the circle.


Game 2: Tusculum 3, #19 Wingate 2 (Box Score)

Williamson completed a wild seventh inning with a walkoff single that erased a 2-1 deficit and earned the Pioneers a 3-2 victory over the Bulldogs in the second game of the twinbill.

Holding a 2-1 advantage heading into the final frame, Wingate turned to Houser to try and earn the save in the circle. Robin Stoner started things off with a leadoff single up the middle. Cecil came in to pinch run for Stoner while Brooke Rhodes stepped into the batter's box. Rhodes squared around and laid down a sacrifice bunt attempt down the third base line, and Wingate third baseman Katie McLaurin went to second base to try and throw out Cecil, but she was ruled safe while Rhodes reached at first.

After Houser struck out Kruel, Stroinski took four-straight balls to earn a walk that loaded the bases. Williamson stepped up to the pate and hit a slow grounder to second baseman Helms. Helms fielded the ball cleanly, but Williamson was charging down the line and slid head first into the base and was ruled safe on a close play. Meanwhile, Cecil and Rhodes came across to score during the play to capture the victory.

Pioneer starter Eliza Davis (5-3) earned the win in the circle after allowing just two earned runs and one walk in all seven innings of work. Houser took the loss, while Bulldog starter Miranda Paul earned a no-decision despite allowing just three hits and no earned runs.

At the plate, Stoner led the way for the Pioneers with a 2-for-3 effort, while Rhodes and Nicole Ball also registered a base knock. Wingate out-hit TC 8-5 including two hits apiece for Helms and Olivia Smith.

TC was first on the scoreboard with a run in the bottom of the third. Kruel drew a leadoff walk and then took second base on a groundout by Williamson. Bailey Culler came up in the next at-bat and hit the ball to right field, but Wingate right fielder Morgan Hendrix dropped the fly ball, which allowed Kruel to come around and score.

Wingate didn't trail for long, as they put up two runs in the top of the fourth on three singles and a walk to take a 2-1 advantage. Davis only allowed two singles in the final three Bulldog innings, and worked around a walk an error to set up TC to pick up the win in the bottom of the seventh.

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