WSCC Lady Senators claim doubleheader against Southwest Tennessee 5-4, 10-2
Walters State’s Hannah Kiser hits a single in the sixth inning of the opening game of Sunday’s doubleheader against Southwest Tennessee at the Lady Senator Softball Complex. Kiser scored the winning run later in the inning as Walters State swept the twinbill.
Despite the frigid weather, the 20th ranked Walters State Lady Senators opened their home schedule with a pair of wins over Tennessee Community College Athletic Association rival Southwest Tennessee Sunday afternoon at the Lady Senator Softball Complex.
Battling sub-freezing temperatures with a wind chill in the high teens, the Lady Senators rallied in the sixth inning of both games to claim the doubleheader sweep. Walters State won the opener 5-4 before scoring eight runs in the final inning of the nightcap for a 10-2 victory.
With the wins, the Lady Senators improve to 9-2 on the season and 2-0 in TCCAA action. Walters State coach Larry Sauceman also moved within two wins of 600 victories for his career.
The losses dropped the Lady Saluqis to 1-8 overall and 0-2 in league action.
“After not playing for two weeks, I thought there would be some rust on our part, and there was plenty of it,” Sauceman said. “We finally shook it off late in the day. I would have liked to seen us do it earlier, but I guess it was better late than never.”
The Lady Senators got off to a rough start in the opening game, as Southwest Tennessee put up four runs in the first inning, with Sami Jo Kelly belting a home run that made it 4-0.
Walters State cut the lead in half with two runs in the home half of the first. Haley Taylor singled, moved to third on a throwing error and scored on a double by Lindsee Price. Kendi King added an RBI single later in the inning to cut the deficit to 4-2.
The Lady Senators cut the deficit to 4-3 in the second when Andrea Eison reached on a fielder’s choice and eventually scored on a wild pitch by Southwest’s Haylee Power.
The lead stayed the same until the bottom of the fifth, when Walters State pulled even. Price laced a double down the left field line and scored on a throwing error as King singled to short.
Lady Senators pitcher Kelsey Weddle held the Lady Saluqis scoreless after the first inning and allowed her teammates a chance to win it in the sixth. Hannah Kiser led off with an infield single and moved to second on a grounder by Katelyn Stewart. With two outs, Taylor reached on a throwing error that scored Kiser with the winning run.
Weddle (4-2) picked up the win after allowing four earned runs on seven hits in a complete game effort. Taylor, Price and King each had two hits in the win.
“Weddle settled in after the first inning and pitched a pretty good ball game,” Sauceman said. “We didn’t need to see that first inning, but I think it kind of got her attention and she was great after that.”
Power took the loss after scattering nine hits and giving up five runs – two earned – and fanning six batters in six innings. Taylor Moore had three hits and Kelly added two in the loss.
In the nightcap, the Lady Senators again trailed much of the way before an eight-run sixth inning gave them a mercy-rule victory.
Walters State led 1-0 after the first inning after Taylor singled and scored later in the frame on a wild pitch.
The Lady Saluqis plated single runs in the second and third innings off of Lady Senators starting pitcher Lindsey Vaught, and they kept the lead until Walters State tied it in the fourth. Latosha Rectenwald reached on a fielder’s choice and scored on a double by Taylor to knot the score at 2.
Taylor Green relieved Vaught on the mound in the fifth inning and worked two perfect innings, allowing the Lady Senators to put together the game-ending rally in the sixth.
Taylor drove in the go-ahead run with an RBI single, and Brooke Rhodes followed with a run scoring hit of her own. Price added a two-run double and scored on a base hit by Ayana Spivey, King scored on a throwing error by the catcher, Spivey scored on a wild pitch and Emilee Solomon walked and scored on an error to end the game.
“That was a huge inning for us in the sixth,” Sauceman said. “Not only did it get us on track and get us the win, but maybe it gave us some confidence coming back for the final two games (today).”
Green (2-0) grabbed the win after her best outing of the season in two innings of relief. Vaught got a no-decision after allowing only two earned runs on three hits in four innings.
Taylor led WSCC with three hits and two RBIs, while Price added a pair of runs batted in for the Lady Senators.
Taylor Thomas took the loss for the Lady Saluqis after surrendering eight earned runs on 10 hits in five-plus innings. Kayla Wright allowed the final two runs – one earned – on one hit in two-thirds of an inning.
Both teams will return to the diamond today to complete the four-game series. First pitch of the doubleheader is set for Noon.
-By Matt Daniels, Tribune Sports Editor