ANDERSON, S.C. --- Anderson swept Tusculum in a South Atlantic Conference softball doubleheader Tuesday afternoon at the Anderson Softball Complex, rallying for a 4-3 victory in nine innings in game one and posting a 4-1 win in game two.
The Pioneers (17-16, 2-6 SAC) will host Catawba in a SAC doubleheader Friday at 1 p.m. at Red Edmonds Field. Anderson retains first place in the SAC at 24-6 overall and 5-0 in league play.
Game 1: Anderson 4, Tusculum 3 (9 innings)
An infield single by the Trojans' Meghan Majeski tied the game in the bottom of the ninth, and another infield hit from Joshlyn Martin drove home the winning run as Anderson rallied after Tusculum took a 3-2 lead in the top of the ninth on a double by Sammie West.
West went 3-for-4 and knocked in all three runs for the Pioneers, including a two-run double that tied the game at 2-2 in the top of the sixth. Delaney Guerrero was 2-for-2 with a double and a run scored for Tusculum, while starter Allison Pate (8-8) gave up six hits and two earned runs in 8 1/3 innings but was saddled with the loss, striking out two and walking four while hitting three batters.
Tusculum had runners in each of the first three innings against Anderson starter Harlie Duncan, but could not push home a run. Guerrero singled with one out in the first and Taylor Johnson was hit by a pitch with two outs, but a fielder's choice grounder ended the inning. In the second, West led off with an infield single and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Emma Casey, but a pop up and a fly ball kept the game scoreless. The Pioneers threatened again in the third as Taylor Battle reached on a wild pitch following a strikeout, moved up on a bunt by Guerrero and took third on a groundout, only to see a groundout end the frame.
Pate allowed one hit through the first three innings, but saw the Trojans load the bases in the fourth on two walks sandwiched around a double by Martin. An error on a fielder's choice allowed Kasey Grant to score the first run of the game, but Pate recovered to limit the damage to one run on a fielder's choice at home, a strikeout and a popup. Anderson added a run in the fifth as Grant and Martin were hit by pitches with two outs, and Grant scored on a single by Breanna Hagerty to give the Trojans a 2-0 lead.
In the sixth, Guerrero led off with a double and moved to third on a groundout. With two outs, Emily Hester walked and was replaced by pinch-runner Courtney Gibson, who scored on West's double to left along with Guerrero to tie the game at 2-2.
With the game tied after regulation, the international tiebreaker went into effect starting with the eighth. Both teams sacrificed their baserunner to third in the eighth, but were unable to bring home the runner as the game went into the ninth. Tusculum broke through in the top of the ninth as Johnson ran at second, moved to third on a sacrifice by Hester and scored on a double by West. The Pioneers put runners at first and third with one out, but reliever Kayla Pepper (8-3) retired both batters she faced on a strikeout and a popup to keep the deficit at one run.
In the bottom of the ninth, pinch-runner Trudi Shuman was bunted to third and scored on an infield single by Majeski. After an intentional walk to Cailah Niles, Grant was hit by a pitch to load the bases for Martin, who was safe on an infield single as Majeski scored the winning run.
Martin finished 3-for-4 at the plate for the Trojans, accounting for half of their six hits in the game. Grant was 1-for-2 with a walk, a hit by pitch and two runs scored. Duncan worked 8 1/3 innings for the Trojans, allowing six hits and three runs (two earned) with two strikeouts and a walk.
Game 2: Anderson 4, Tusculum 1
Randee Bettis (6-2) carried a shutout into the seventh inning before Brittney Franse broke it up with her first career home run. Tusculum finished the game with four hits off Bettis, who struck out two and walked four but was aided by a pair of double plays turned by the Trojans' defense.
Tusculum started quickly as Battle reached on an error to lead off the game and Guerrero followed with a single. However, a ground ball to third was turned into a double play as Bettis got out of the inning with no runs. Pioneer starter Lizzy Galloway retired the first eight batters she faced before a two-out single in the third by Majeski.
In the fourth, Johnson led off with a single for the Pioneers and took second on an error, but Bettis struck out the next two batters and retired the side on a comebacker following a walk to Casey. The Trojans jumped to the lead in the bottom of the inning by loading the bases on an error, a walk and a single, with Ali Anderson delivering a bases-clearing triple to right field to push the Trojans to a 3-0 lead.
The Pioneers kicked up a rally in the sixth as Anna Alloway led off with a walk and Sammie West drew a one-out walk, but Bettis threw her second double-play grounder of the game to keep the lead at 3-0. Mattie Hamilton then provided insurance in the bottom of the sixth with a leadoff homer, which was answered in the seventh by Franse's one-out blast.
Guerrero and Casey each went 1-for-2 with a walk in game two for the Pioneers, while Hamilton was 2-for-3 with two runs scored and Majeski finished 2-for-2 with a walk. Galloway (1-2) threw her first complete game of the season for Tusculum, allowing eight hits and three earned runs with three strikeouts and two walks.