Mars Hill sweeps doubleheader from Tusculum

Mars Hill sweeps doubleheader from Tusculum

Mars Hill University swept a South Atlantic Conference softball doubleheader from Tusculum College on Tuesday, winning by scores of 5-1 and 11-7 at Red Edmonds Field. The Lions (11-18, 5-7 SAC) used a 19-hit attack to capture the nightcap after strong pitching carried Mars Hill to the victory in the opener.

The Pioneers (17-23, 3-9 SAC) are at Wingate for a SAC twinbill on Saturday at 1 p.m.

Game 1: Mars Hill 5, Tusculum 1 - box score
The Lions scored two runs in the first and fourth innings to take a 4-0 lead, while Shelby Culler and Sydney Elkin combined on a four-hitter to help Mars Hill to a win in the opener.

Ally Sherman finished 3-for-3 with three stolen bases, an RBI and a run scored out of the ninth spot in the lineup for the Lions, who had 10 hits as a team in the game.

Carolyn Williamson went 2-for-3 with a triple for the Pioneers, who scored their only run in the fifth inning on a sacrifice bunt off the bat of Robin Stoner.

The Lions took a 2-0 lead in the top of the first off Tusculum starter Eliza Davis on an RBI double by Taylor Lail and an RBI single by Jamie Booze. The Pioneers put runners at first and second with one out in the first, and first and third with one out in the second, but were unable to score against Culler.

Mars Hill extended its lead to 4-0 in the fourth on an RBI single by Sherman and an RBI groundout by Krista Romine. The Pioneers got on the board in the bottom of the fifth as Taylor Battle led off with a single and took second on an error. After a sacrifice moved Battle to third, Stoner brought home Battle with another sacrifice to cut the margin to 4-1.

Tusculum put a runner at second base in the sixth and a runner at third in the seventh against Elkin, but the Lion righthander retired the side both innings to finish off her second save of the season.

Culler (6-3) gave up an unearned run on three hits in five innings of work for the Lions, with three strikeouts and four walks. Davis (8-12) allowed five earned runs on 10 hits with two strikeouts and no walks.

Game 2: Mars Hill 11, Tusculum 7 - box score
The Lions scored in each of the first six innings and tallied 19 hits in the game, including three apiece from Romine, Kayleigh Jonas, Booze and Ellen Tillman. Romine and Jonas each scored three runs, while Ragan Broome had four runs batted in for Mars Hill in the victory.

Stoner finished 2-for-4 with two runs batted in and two runs scored for the Pioneers, while Jordan Keene finished 2-for-4 with two triples, an RBI and a run. Morgan Ward added two hits in three at-bats and drove in a run for the Pioneers, who had nine hits as a team. Pioneer outfielder Miranda Beeler reached the 100-hit mark for her career with a leadoff bunt single in the first inning.

Tusculum tied a school record in the game with four triples, equaling the mark that was set against King on April 26, 1996. Keene became the 11th player in program history, and first since Williamson in 2014 against Virginia-Wise, to have two triples in a game.

Mars Hill jumped to a 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning against Tusculum starter Cayla Cecil, courtesy of an RBI single by Booze and a sacrifice fly by Broome. The Pioneers came back with two runs in their half of the first as Beeler singled and Williamson drew a walk. Stoner then delivered an RBI single up the middle to bring home Beeler and cut the deficit to 2-1. With two outs, Ward walked with the bases loaded against Booze to force in Stoner with the tying run.

The Lions came back with a run in the second on an RBI single by Jonas, but the Pioneers took the lead with three runs in their half of the frame. Battle was hit by a pitch, took second on a sacrifice and scored on a triple to center field by Stoner. Emily Hester then reached on an error to bring home Stoner with the go-ahead run, followed by a triple by Keene that plated pinch-runner Harper Ford and gave Tusculum a 5-3 lead.

Mars Hill tied the game in the top of the third on a sacrifice fly by Emily Crouse and an RBI single by Romine, then took a 7-5 lead in the fourth on an RBI single by Lail and another sacrifice fly from Broome. An RBI double by Jonas and a two-run double by Broome in the fifth off Pioneer reliever Taylor Plemons extended the Lions' lead to 10-5.

Tusculum came back with two runs in the bottom of the fifth. Keene led off with her second triple of the game, and scored on a wild pitch with one out. Ward doubled, took third on a pinch-single by Jenna Restivo and scored on a passed ball to cut the Mars Hill advantage to 10-7. However, Tillman led off the top of the sixth with a solo home run, and Elkin retired the final six batters she faced to close out the victory.

Elkin (5-8) worked 5 1/3 innings of relief for the Lions, allowing two runs (one earned) on five hits while striking out four. Cecil (7-6) gave up 12 hits and seven earned runs in four innings for the Pioneers, with one strikeout and three walks. Plemons worked the final 2 2/3 innings for Tusculum and allowed one run on four hits while fanning four.

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