Wingate sweeps twinbill from Tusculum

Wingate sweeps twinbill from Tusculum

Wingate University swept a South Atlantic Conference softball doubleheader from Tusculum College on Saturday, winning the opener 7-0 behind a no-hitter from Stacey Houser before winning game two by a score of 11-3 in five innings.

The Pioneers (17-25, 3-11 SAC) return to action on Tuesday at Anderson, with the SAC doubleheader beginning at 3 p.m.

Game 1: Wingate 7, Tusculum 0 - box score
Houser (13-9) allowed three baserunners, on one walk and two hit batters, while the Bulldog offense scored four runs in the fourth inning as part of a 10-hit attack. Mellena Helms went 3-for-4 with a grand slam home run for Wingate, while Shannen Adams finished 3-for-3 with two runs scored.

Jordan Keene was the first baserunner for the Pioneers when she was hit by a pitch from Houser with one out in the second, but she was unable to advance. The Bulldogs came back with two runs in the bottom of the inning against Tusculum starter Eliza Davis on an RBI single by Naomi Sapp for a 1-0 lead.

Taylor Battle reached on a walk with two outs in the third, but was caught stealing to end the inning. Wingate broke the game in the fourth as the bases were loaded with one out for Helms, who hit the first pitch from Davis for her eighth home run of the season and a 5-0 Wingate lead.

Tusculum's final baserunner came in the top of the fifth as Jenna Restivo was hit by a pitch with one out, but Houser retired the side on a strikeout and popup. Wingate closed out the scoring in the sixth against Tusculum reliever Taylor Plemons on an error and an RBI single by Misty Doran for a 7-0 lead entering the seventh.

In the seventh, Houser needed just eight pitches to finish off her no-hitter as she retired the side on a groundout, popup and groundout. Houser threw 99 pitches (60 strikes) and struck out six batters.

Davis (8-13) allowed five runs (four earned) on six hits in 3 1/3 innings, with one strikeout and one walk. Plemons tossed the final 2 2/3 innings and gave up two runs (one earned) on four hits while striking out two.

Game 2: Wingate 11, Tusculum 3 (5 innings) - box score
Taylor Laskey went 3-for-3 with two doubles and three runs batted in, and Morgan Hendrix was 2-for-3 with three RBIs as the Bulldogs (24-12, 9-5 SAC) used a seven-run third inning to build an early 10-2 lead.

Houser (14-9) started the second game and did not allow a hit until an RBI single by Miranda Beeler in the top of the third inning. Tusculum added another run in the inning on an error, which cut the deficit to 3-2. Houser gave up two hits and one earned run in three innings and was credited with the victory for the Bulldogs.

Wingate had taken a 3-0 lead off Tusculum starter Plemons, including an RBI single by Hendrix and a run-scoring double by Laskey in the first and an error by the Pioneers in the second. The Bulldogs strung together six hits in their seven-run third, including RBI singles by Doran and Katie McLaurin, and two-run singles by Hendrix and Laskey.

The Bulldogs added a run in the fourth on an error, while the Pioneers pushed across a run in the fifth on an RBI double by Carolyn Williamson off Wingate reliever Rachel Weidner.

Williamson finished 2-for-3 with an RBI for the Pioneers, with Battle and Beeler each picking up a hit and scoring a run. Plemons (2-6) gave up five hits and five runs (four earned) in two-plus innings, with one strikeout and no walks.

- TC -