Queens ekes out pair of 3-2 wins over Pioneers

Queens ekes out pair of 3-2 wins over Pioneers
CHARLOTTE, N.C. --- The Queens University of Charlotte softball team swept Tusculum University by identical scores of 3-2 Saturday afternoon in a South Atlantic Conference doubleheader. 
The Royals improve to 19-9 overall and 7-5 in league play while the Pioneers are 17-17, 5-9 SAC.  Tusculum returns to Red Edmonds Field on Sunday to begin a six-game homestand as TU faces Limestone College in a non-conference doubleheader.
Game 1: Queens 3, Tusculum 2
Courtney Pearson (12-3) recorded 15 strikeouts in a seven-inning complete game as Queens won the opener 3-2.  She held the Pioneers to four hits while Grace Valchar went 2-for-2 including a home run.
Tusculum starter Ivee Richesin (6-5) also tossed a complete game as she scattered six hits, three runs, one walk and two strikeouts.
Valchar put the Royals on the board with her solo homer in the second inning for a 1-0 lead.
Tusculum tied the game at 1-1 when Morgan Mahaffey led off the third with a single, moved to second on a Tori West bunt and later scored on Taylor Battle's SAC-leading seventh triple of the season.
But in the bottom of the fourth frame, the Royals loaded the bases with one out and Cierra Robinson hit a two-run double to right center as Queens regained the lead at 3-1.
Tusculum mounted a two-out rally in the sixth as Greyson Brown belted a solo homer to left field to trim the deficit to 3-2.
TU got the tying run to to second base in the seventh inning with one out, but Pearson got out of the jam with a pair of strikeouts to end the game.
Game 2: Queens 3, Tusculum 2
Queens used a pair of home runs and pitcher Shannon McGuire tallied 13 strikeouts in a 3-2 win in the night-cap.
McGuire (6-4) went the distance as she allowed three hits, two runs and one walk to go along with her 13 strikeouts.
TU starter Taylor Plemons allowed three runs on five hits, three walks and four strikeouts to fall to 5-6 on the year.
McGuire retired the first nine Pioneers to start the game before Battle stopped that string with a lead-off single in the top of the fourth.
Kelly Winter opened up the scoring with a one-out home run in the first inning. 
It was a pitcher's duel for most of the game until the bottom of the sixth as Sydney Ditto led off with a bunt single and McKenzie McCullen belted a two-run homer to left field as the Royals increased their lead to 3-0.
The Pioneers battled back in the seventh when Brown led off with a walk and pinch-hitter Anna Alloway responded with a two-run homer to trim the deficit to 3-2. 
But McGuire composed herself and retired the next three batters including two via strikeout to complete the sweep.