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Wingate sweeps doubleheader from Tusculum

Wingate sweeps doubleheader from Tusculum

GREENEVILLE, Tenn. --- Rachel Weidner threw a one-hitter in game one and earned the save in game two as Wingate swept a South Atlantic Conference softball doubleheader from Tusculum on Saturday at Red Edmonds Field. The Bulldogs (23-17, 8-4 SAC) won the opener 3-0 and took the nightcap by a 6-5 score.

The Pioneers (20-18, 4-6 SAC) return to action on Sunday at Mars Hill in the completion of a doubleheader that was suspended due to rain Wednesday afternoon with Tusculum leading 3-1 in the third inning of game one. The action will resume at 1:00 Sunday.

Game 1: Wingate 3, Tusculum 0
Weidner (12-8) walked six batters, but struck out eight and allowed just a second-inning opposite-field single from Delaney Guerrero as she threw her 16th complete game and seventh shutout of the season.

Wingate took a 1-0 lead in the top of the third against Tusculum starter Taylor Plemons as Jessica VonCannon lined a two-out single off Plemons' glove to drive home Misty Doran. The Pioneers left two runners on base against Weidner in the second, and loaded the bases in the fourth on walks to Taylor Johnson, Morgan Mahaffey and Guerrero. However, Weidner was able to retire the side on a popup to short to preserve the 1-0 lead.

The Pioneers put runners on base in the fifth on a two-out walk to Emily Hester, and in the sixth when Rachel Wisner was hit by a pitch with one out, but Weidner was able to induce popups to retire the side each inning. Wingate gave Weidner insurance in the top of the seventh as Emma Swenson led off with a double and scored on a two-run home run to left by Jordan Floyd.

Plemons (11-9) allowed three earned runs on six hits in her 14th complete game of the season, with three strikeouts and one walk. Guerrero was the only Pioneer to reach base more than once as she walked and singled in her three plate appearances. VonCannon led the Bulldogs by going 2-for-3 with an RBI and a walk in the opener.

Game 2: Wingate 6, Tusculum 5
The Bulldogs went ahead 4-0 in the top of the first inning and made the lead stand up despite home runs from the Pioneers' Hester and Johnson, who each had two hits and two runs batted in as the Pioneers cut a 6-1 deficit to 6-5 with a run in the fourth, two in the fifth and one in the seventh.

Eight of the nine starters had at least one hit for the Bulldogs, who had 11 hits against Pioneer starter Eliza Davis (4-4). Davis struck out six and walked one in her fourth complete game in nine starts this season.

Wingate struck early in the first with four runs, coming on an RBI single by Taylor Wells, an RBI single by Swenson and a two-run double by Floyd. Johnson got a run back for the Pioneers in the bottom of the second with her fourth home run of the season against Wingate starter Aubrey Reep, but the Bulldogs went back ahead 5-1 on an RBI double by Swenson.

The Bulldogs extended their lead to 6-1 in the fourth on an RBI single by VonCannon, before Hester drilled her sixth home run of the season to lead off the bottom of the inning to bring the Pioneers back within 6-2. Tusculum added two more runs in the fifth as Sammie West doubled with one out, took third on a bloop single by Michelle Miller and scored on a sacrifice fly by Hester. Johnson then followed with a single down the third base line to drive home Miller and cut the Wingate lead to 6-4.

Weidner came on in relief to start the sixth and issued a walk to Treslyn Reese and a one-out single to Guerrero, but got out of the jam with back-to-back infield popups. In the seventh, Hester singled with one out and Johnson followed with a walk. Robin Stoner drove home pinch-runner Wisner with a bloop single to center to bring Tusculum within 6-5, but Weidner recovered to end the game on a strikeout.

Naomi Sapp, Swenson and Floyd each finished with two hits for the Bulldogs, with Swenson and Floyd each knocking in a pair of runs. Hester was 2-for-3 with two runs batted in for the Pioneers, while Johnson had a perfect game at the plate with two hits and two walks in four plate appearances.

Reep (11-9) worked five innings to earn the win for Wingate, allowing four earned runs on six hits with two walks and two strikeouts. Weidner earned her third save by tossing two innings, allowing one run on three hits with two walks and a strikeout.

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