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Pioneers earn road sweep over Virginia-Wise

Pioneers earn road sweep over Virginia-Wise

WISE, Va. --- Tusculum University swept a doubleheader at Virginia-Wise on Tuesday, winning 8-6 in game one and taking game two in five innings by a score of 11-3. The Pioneers improved to 10-6 with the wins while the Cavaliers dropped to 5-8 following the sweep.

Tusculum will be home to face Bloomsburg in a non-conference twinbill starting at 1 p.m. Wednesday at Red Edmonds Field.

Game 1: Tusculum 8, UVa-Wise 6
Sammie West went 3-for-4 and Emily Hester homered and drove in four runs for the Pioneers, who banged out 11 hits in the game. Emma Casey was 2-for-3 with a big two-run single in the sixth and Taylor Johnson went 2-for-4 with a home run in the victory for the Pioneers.

Kaylee Jones, Alexis Miles and Julia Hoy all hit home runs for the Cavaliers in game one, who had six extra-base hits among their 10 hits in the game. Jones and Miles each went 2-for-4 and Nikki Smith was 2-for-3 for UVa-Wise in the opener.

The Cavaliers jumped to a 3-0 lead in the first inning against Pioneer starter Taylor Plemons. Jones led off with a single and Miles followed with a two-run home run for a quick 2-0 UVA-Wise lead. Taylor Creasey then doubled and scored on a sacrifice fly by Shannon Bennett which extended the Cavs' lead to 3-0.

The Pioneers came back with a run in the top of the second against Cavs starter Raychel Lapallo, as Johnson hit her third home run of the season. In the third, West led off with a walk and Taylor Battle followed with a bunt single, setting up Hester for her fifth home run of the season and a 4-3 Pioneer lead. The home run was the 21st of Hester's career, tying her with Kaytlin Stroinski (2012-15) for second place on the Tusculum all-time home run list.

Tusculum added a run in the fourth as Brittney Franse led off with a walk, and West and Battle followed with bunt singles to load the bases with nobody out. A sacrifice fly by Hester drove home Franse for a 5-3 lead.

In the fifth, the Pioneers tacked on another run as Casey singled with one out and pinch-hitter Chloe Freischmidt drew a walk. With two outs, West delivered a double that brought home Morgan Mahaffey and pushed the Pioneers in front 6-3.

Ivee Richesin, who pitched three scoreless innings after coming in for Plemons to start the second for Tusculum, gave up a solo home run to Jones to lead off the bottom of the fifth which cut the Pioneer lead to 6-4. Richesin (2-2) would be eventually credited with the win, allowing three hits and one run while striking out two over three innings.

Tusculum plated a pair of insurance runs in the top of the sixth as Alexis Grampp was hit by a pitch, Johnson singled and both runners moved up on a wild pitch. With two outs, Casey came through with a two-run single to score Grampp and pinch-runner Caitlyn Brinkley and extend the Tusculum lead to 8-4.

In the bottom of the sixth, UVa-Wise answered as Smith led off with a double and scored on a two-run home run by Hoy, the third of the day for the Cavaliers. Allison Pate relieved Scozzari and retired the side to keep Tusculum's lead at 8-6 heading to the seventh.

The Cavaliers looked to rally in the seventh as Miles led off with a single, but Pate negotiated the heart of the UVa-Wise lineup with no further damage for her first save of the season.

Lopallo (1-5) pitched all seven innings for the Cavaliers, allowing eight earned runs on 11 hits with six strikeouts and four walks.

Game 2: Tusculum 11, Virginia-Wise 3 (5 innings)
The Pioneers built a 7-0 lead and went on to finish off the sweep of the Cavaliers, as Franse went 3-for-3 with two runs scored, three RBIs and a stolen base. West, Grampp and Casey had two hits apiece and Pate (4-2) threw all five innings to earn the win for the Pioneers, striking out six and allowing five hits over five innings.

The Pioneers grabbed a 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning against Cavalier starter Ashleigh Nalls. West led off with a single, took second on a sacrifice by Battle and moved to third on a single by Hester. With two outs, Grampp delivered a single to score West for a 1-0 lead, and Hester later scored as Grampp was caught in a rundown during a steal attempt.

Tusculum scored twice more in the third as Franse led off with a single, took second on a bunt by West and scored on a throwing error on a bunt attempt by Battle. Battle later moved to third on a fly ball and came home on a single by Johnson which gave Tusculum a 4-0 advantage.

In the fourth, the Pioneers built their lead to 7-0 as Grampp and Casey led off with singles. With two outs, Franse singled to knock in Grampp and pinch-runner Tori West for a 6-0 lead, and Sammie West followed with a double as Franse scored to make it 7-0 Pioneers and chase Nalls from the circle.

Pate started in the circle for the Pioneers and cruised through the first three innings, only to run into trouble in the fourth. With one out, Hoy was hit by a pitch and Bennett followed with a single before Smith drilled a three-run home run to left-center to cut the deficit to 7-3.

Tusculum finished off the game with four runs in the top of the fifth. Hester, Johnson and Grampp all drew walks from reliever Sydney Collins to load the bases with nobody out. Casey singled to drive in pinch-runners Grace Jones and Emily White for an 9-3 lead, and Grampp scored on a groundout by Anna Alloway to extend the lead to 10-3. Franse then singled in Casey to push the Pioneers ahead 11-3, and Pate worked around a leadoff double in the bottom of the inning to lock down the sweep.

West went 2-for-3 with a double, an RBI and a run scored in the second game for the Pioneers and finished the doubleheader with five hits in seven at-bats. Grampp finished 2-for-2 with a walk, two runs scored and a run batted in and Casey was 2-for-3 for the second straight game while driving home two runs for the Pioneers in the nightcap.

Nalls (0-1) pitched 3 2/3 innings for Virginia-Wise in game two, giving up nine hits and seven runs (five earned) with two strikeouts. Collins surrendered four runs on three walks and two hits in 1 1/3 innings of relief. At the plate, Bennett was 2-for-2 with a run scored.

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