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Tusculum splits with Newberry on walkoff single by Johnson in 7th

Tusculum splits with Newberry on walkoff single by Johnson in 7th

GREENEVILLE, Tenn. --- Taylor Johnson hit a two-run single with two outs in the bottom of the seventh as Tusculum defeated Newberry 3-2 in game two of Friday's South Atlantic Conference softball doubleheader at Red Edmonds Field. The Wolves (27-14, 10-6 SAC) won the opener by a score of 3-0.

The Pioneers (24-20, 8-8 SAC) will be on the road Wednesday afternoon at Carson-Newman for a 2 p.m. doubleheader with the Eagles.

Game 1: Newberry 3, Tusculum 0
Devon Morrison (16-5) scattered seven hits and struck out three for her sixth shutout of the season, and Hailey Drawe had a two-run double in the top of the first inning to give Morrison all the support she would need.

Tusculum had baserunners in six of the seven innings against Morrison, but left nine runners on base, had another erased on a pickoff and another wiped out on a double play. Newberry also did not lack for scoring chances, leaving 10 runners on base including the bases loaded in both the fourth and fifth.

The Wolves struck quickly against Pioneer starter Taylor Plemons as Christina Linton led off the game with a walk, followed by a bunt single from Natalie Willis. Drawe then doubled off the fence in left field to drive home both runners and give Newberry a 2-0 lead.

Tusculum threatened in the bottom of the second inning as Jenna Restivo led off with a single, moved to second on a sacrifice and took third on a single by Delaney Guerrero. However, a strikeout by Morrison ended the threat.

The Pioneers mounted a rally in the third as Sammie West led off with a double, and moved to third on a bunt single by Taylor Battle. After Battle stole second, Morrison was able to retire the side on a liner to second, a comebacker and a fly out to center to keep the score at 2-0.

Newberry added a run in the fourth on an RBI single by Allison Van Atta, but left the bases loaded in the fifth as Tusculum reliever Cayla Cecil worked out of a one-out jam with a strikeout and a groundout.

Morrison worked around leadoff singles in the fifth by West and in the sixth by Restivo, then ran into trouble in the seventh as West walked with two outs followed by a single by Battle. However, Morrison got out of trouble on a popup to third to finish her 16th complete game of the year.

West and Battle each went 2-for-3 with a walk for the Pioneers, while Restivo was 2-for-2 and was hit by a pitch. Drawe and Myranda Dills each went 2-for-4 for the Wolves, while Tori Caldwell was 1-for-3 with a walk.

Plemons (11-11) worked four innings for the Pioneers, allowing three earned runs on five hits with three walks and a strikeout. Cecil pitched the final three innings for Tusculum, giving up three hits and a walk but striking out two while not allowing a run.

Game 2: Tusculum 3, Newberry 2
For the second time this week, the Pioneers came from behind with one out to go to earn a victory. On Tuesday, Emily Hester hit a two-run home run in the bottom of the seventh to give the Pioneers a 4-3 win over Anderson.

Johnson took a 1-2 pitch from Morrison and hit it through the right side as Battle scored the tying run and West crossed with the winning run. Johnson also accounted for Tusculum's other run as she scored in the fourth inning on an RBI single by Guerrero.

Tusculum starter Eliza Davis kept Newberry off the board for the first two innings before the Wolves went ahead in the third. Mallory Gerndt led off with a single, moved to second on a sacrifice and scored on a throwing error for a 1-0 Wolves lead.

Newberry righthander Emily Marchbanks held Tusculum to one hit through three innings, but gave up the tying run in the fourth. Hester led off with walk, Johnson was safe on a throwing error on a sacrifice bunt attempt and Restivo walked to load the bases. Newberry looked like they would escape the jam on a line-drive double play, but Guerrero delivered a two-out single off the third baseman's glove to tie the game at 1-1.

The Wolves regained the lead in the top of the fifth on a two-out single behind second base by Haley Simonds which allowed pinch-runner Shannon McCann to score the go-ahead run. Tusculum tried to rally with two-out singles by Michelle Miller in the fifth and Rachel Wisner in the sixth, but Marchbanks was able to preserve the 2-1 advantage into the seventh.

In the bottom of the seventh, pinch-hitter Robin Stoner drew a leadoff walk, and pinch-hitter Shelby Griffin was safe on a bunt single. Morrison came on in relief of Marchbanks, and allowed a bunt single in front of the plate by West to load the bases with nobody out. A strikeout and a fielder's choice grounder left the bases still loaded with two outs, but Johnson came through with the game-winning hit.

Davis (7-4) allowed eight hits and one earned run in her sixth complete game of the season, with one strikeout and one walk. Marchbanks (10-9) worked six-plus innings for the Wolves, allowing five hits and two earned runs with five walks and three strikeouts.

Restivo was 1-for-2 with a walk at the plate for the Pioneers in game two, while West was 1-for-3 with a walk and Hester walked twice in four trips to the plate. Willis led Newberry in game two by going 2-for-3 with a pair of singles and a sacrifice bunt.

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