Final-inning heroics leads Pioneers to sweep over Mountain Lions
GREENVILLE, Tenn. – Tusculum College swept a softball doubleheader from Young Harris College Tuesday (Feb. 21) afternoon at Red Edmonds Field with heroics in their final at bat in each game.
Paige Sneed's game-ending RBI double in the opener highlighted a two-run seventh for the Pioneers in a 2-1 victory. In the nightcap, Katie Brennan hit a two-out, two-run game-winning home run in the bottom of the seventh of the nightcap in Tusculum's 4-3 nightcap victory.
The Pioneers improved to 7-4 with their seventh consecutive victory while the Mountain Lions fell to 4-4. Young Harris was to have played a home doubleheader against Mars Hill College Wednesday (Feb. 22), but that has been postponed due to the threat of rain.
Now the Mountain Lions will travel to Columbus, Ga., to take part in the Cougar Classic this weekend. Young Harris will face No. 21 Armstrong Atlantic State University at 4 p.m. followed by a 6 p.m. contest against the University of West Florida. All games of the Cougar Classic will be played at the South Commons Softball Complex, which hosted the Olympic softball tournament in 1996.
Young Harris starter Katie-Jo Gentry carried a four-hitter and a 1-0 lead into the bottom of the seventh, but was pulled after allowing back-to-back singles to Nicole Ball and Savannah Ewing to start the inning.
Victoria Sink relieved and surrendered a single to Lindsey Umberger that drove home Ball with the tying run, and after an out Sneed drove a 3-2 pitch to the gap in left-center to chase home Ewing with the winning run.
Young Harris had taken a 3-2 lead in the top of the seventh of the second game against Johnson, who relieved Tusculum starter Brooke Lauritzen in the sixth. Pinch-hitter Hunter Sims walked to lead off the inning and gave way to Tori Dyer on re-entry.
Weaver followed with a single down the third-base line, her third hit in as many at bats, to put runners at first and second, and Paige Sexton followed with a single to center to bring home Dyer with the go-ahead run. Johnson avoided further damage with a pair of pop ups.
Trailing 3-2, Umberger led off the seventh with a double to right-center off Young Harris starter Lisa Wilson, who was relieved in favor of Gentry (1-4). A fly ball and a groundout left Umberger at third with two outs for Brennan, who picked a perfect time to hit her first career home run, a 2-1 pitch from Gentry the opposite way and over the right-field fence.
The Pioneers took a 2-0 lead in the fourth. Stroinski doubled off the fence in right with one out and stole third during a walk to Katie Gross. Gross stole second on the first pitch to Ball, and Stroinski scored when the throw bounced into center field. Ball then followed with a double to deep center to bring home Gross and give the Pioneers a 2-0 lead.
However, the Mountain Lions came right back with two runs in the top of the fifth to tie the game at 2. With two outs, Weaver singled to left to drive home Holloway and pull Young Harris within 2-1. Sexton then reached on an infield single and Weaver scored the tying run when the throw sailed past first for an error.