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Tusculum earns pair of one-run wins over Mount Olive

Tusculum earns pair of one-run wins over Mount Olive

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. --- Tusculum College swept a non-conference softball doubleheader from the University of Mount Olive Friday afternoon on the campus of Flagler College, winning both games by identical 4-3 scores.

The Pioneers (14-12) will be on the road Wednesday afternoon for a non-conference doubleheader at the University of Virginia-Wise beginning at 2 p.m. The Trojans (12-18) will play on the road at Pfeiffer in a Conference Carolinas twinbill Wednesday afternoon at 2 p.m.

Game 1: Tusculum 4, Mount Olive 3
Taylor Plemons (7-6) came within one out of a shutout before the Trojans scored three runs in the seventh to pull within a run. Cayla Cecil came on to get the final out with two runners on for her second save of the season. Plemons allowed four hits and three earned runs while striking out a season-high seven and walking four in the win.

At the plate, the Pioneers collected 11 hits and scored two runs in both the fourth and sixth innings to build a 4-0 lead. Sammie West, Taylor Johnson, Delaney Guerrero and Morgan Mahaffey all had two hits for the Pioneers in the victory.

The Pioneers were held to two infield singles through three innings by Trojans starter Emily Chaisson before taking a 2-0 advantage in the fourth. Johnson reached on an error with one out, took second on a single by Morgan Ward and scored on an RBI single to left by Guerrero. Mahaffey then singled home Ward for a 2-0 Tusculum lead, with both runs unearned.

In the sixth, Johnson led off with a single and pinch-runner Emily White took second on a sacrifice bunt by Treslyn Reese. With two outs, Guerrero brought home White with a single to right field which gave the Pioneers a 3-0 lead. Following a pinch-hit single from Allison Pate, West delivered an RBI single to bring in Guerrero as Tusculum led 4-0.

After being held to two hits and no runs into the seventh, the Trojans put on a final push in the bottom of the seventh. Mount Olive loaded the bases with two outs for Alyssa Pickle, who came through with a two-run single to cut the deficit to 4-2 and end the day for Plemons. Cecil came on and allowed an RBI single to Kayla Allen, but retired the final batter on a comebacker.

Chaisson (7-5) pitched all seven innings for the Trojans, allowing 11 hits and two earned runs with three strikeouts and no walks. Allen and Kristin Power each went 2-for-3 for Mount Olive, which left seven runners on base and had two more runners thrown out by Tusculum's Reese as they attempted to steal.

Game 2: Tusculum 4, Mount Olive 3
Tusculum scored the winning run in the bottom of the seventh when Mount Olive pitcher Kylie Ward committed an error on a ball hit by Johnson, allowing West to cross the plate and break a 3-3 tie. The win was the Pioneers' third consecutive one-run victory.

Cecil (5-5) came on in relief of Tusculum starter Eliza Davis in the fourth and pitched four scoreless innings to earn the win, getting 11 of her 12 outs on ground balls. Johnson had two runs batted in for the Pioneers while Guerrero went 2-for-3 with a double and a run scored.

Tusculum took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first as West led off with a walk, stole second and scored when Guerrero reached on a fielding error. Mount Olive came back with three runs in the top of the third on a two-run single by Anna Ingram and an error to take a 3-1 lead.

The Pioneers responded with two runs in the bottom of the third to tie the game at 3-3. With two outs, Guerrero and Emily Hester had back-to-back singles, setting up a two-run double for Johnson which plated the tying runs.

Mount Olive threatened in the fifth with runners at the corners and two outs, but Cecil retired the side on a grounder to second. Guerrero doubled with one out in the fifth, but Ward got the next two hitters on a fly ball and a ground ball to end the inning.

In the bottom of the sixth, a pair of walks from Ward put runners at first and second for the Pioneers, but a ground out kept the score tied. The Trojans tried to rally in the seventh with a pair of singles, but a ground out from Cecil sent the game to the bottom of the seventh tied at 3-3.

Ingram went 3-for-4 with a run scored and two runs batted in for the Trojans in game two, as Mount Olive out-hit Tusculum by an 8-7 margin. Ward (2-3) worked 6 2/3 innings, allowing seven hits and four runs (two earned) with three walks and no strikeouts.

West went 1-for-3 with a stolen base and two runs scored in game two for the Pioneers, who received three innings from Davis allowing three hits and two earned runs, with two walks and two strikeouts.

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