AMERICUS, Ga. --- The Tusculum College softball team opened its 2017 season with a doubleheader split Saturday afternoon at Georgia Southwestern State University. The Pioneers won the opener 10-4 and lost the nightcap to the Hurricanes by a score of 11-4.
Tusculum (1-1) continues its season-opening road swing with a doubleheader Sunday afternoon at Clark Atlanta University. First pitch of the twinbill is scheduled for 11 a.m.
Game 1: Tusculum 10, Georgia Southwestern 4
Robin Stoner slugged a pair of home runs as the Pioneers piled up 13 hits in the victory. Jenna Restivo went 3-for-4 with two doubles and two runs scored, while Sammie West and Taylor Johnson each had a pair of hits in their collegiate debuts.
Johnson opened the scoring in the top of the second inning as she hit a two-run home run in her first collegiate at-bat to give Tusculum a 2-0 lead. The Hurricanes tied the score in the bottom of the fourth on a two-run double by Mikela Barlow off Pioneer starter Cayla Cecil.
In the fith, Emily Hester and Restivo delivered back-to-back RBI doubles to put the Pioneers back on top 4-2. Tusculum added two more runs in the sixth on a solo homer by Stoner and an RBI single by West, then tacked on four in the seventh on an RBI double by Treslyn Reese, a fielder's choice and a two-run homer by Stoner. Georgia Southwestern closed out the scoring in the bottom of the seventh on a two-run home run by Hayley Tierce.
Eight of the nine starters in the Pioneer lineup had at least one hit in the game, with Restivo, Johnson and Stoner each scoring a pair of runs. Delaney Guerrero had a single and two walks for the Pioneers, while Barlow was 2-for-2 with two walks and two RBIs for the Hurricanes and Ella Hawkins was 2-for-4 with a run scored.
Cecil (1-0) allowed eight hits and four earned runs while walking five and striking out one, but worked out of trouble in both the second and third innings to keep the Pioneers ahead.
Brittany Childs (0-1) gave up six earned runs on eight hits in six innings for the Hurricanes, with three walks and no strikeouts. Shannon Gibson pitched the seventh and yielded four runs on five hits in the inning.
Game 2: Georgia Southwestern 11, Tusculum 4
The Pioneers looked to be on their way to a doubleheader sweep as they carried a 4-0 lead into the fourth, but the Hurricanes scored a run in the fourth, six in the fifth and four in the sixth to rally for the victory.
Barlow finished 3-for-3 with a walk and three runs scored for the Hurricanes, who had 13 hits in the game. Hannah McCain and Allee Denney each finished 2-for-3 with a double and four RBIs, with McCain delivering a bases-loaded double during Georgia Southwestern's six-run fifth inning.
Tusculum had just five hits in the game off Gibson (1-0), including a two-run home run by Restivo. Johnson went 2-for-3 with a pair of singles for the Pioneers, while Hester was 1-for-3 with an RBI.
The Pioneers opened the scoring in the top of the first as West reached on an error and scored on a two-run homer by Restivo. Tusculum added two more runs in the third on an RBI single by Hester and a groundout by Restivo which gave the Pioneers a 4-0 lead.
Georgia Southwestern scored a run off Tusculum starter Taylor Plemons in the forth on a sacriice fly by Denney, then added six runs in the fifth on a two-run single by Denney, a three-run double by McCain and an RBI single by Brittany Davis to go on top 7-4 after five innings.
The Hurricanes added four more runs in the sixth on a two-run double by Joshlyn Martin, an RBI double by Denney and an RBI single by McCain. Meanwhile, Gibson allowed just one hit over the final four innings and set down 11 straight batters from the third through the sixth.
Plemons (0-1) gave up two earned runs and struck out two in 4 2/3 innings pitched for the Pioneers, while Gibson allowed two earned runs and fanned a pair for the Hurricanes.