WSCC’s Sauceman collects 600th win
Walters State’s Kendi King, top, hits an RBI single during the opening game of a doubleheader against Southwest Tennessee Monday. The Lady Senators won both games, giving coach Larry Sauceman his 600th career coaching victory at Walters State.
Walters State softball coach Larry Sauceman reached a milestone Monday when his team pulled out a pair of one-run victories over visiting Southwest Tennessee at the Lady Senator Softball Complex.
Sauceman, in his 16th season as head coach at Walters State, won his 600th game after the 20th ranked Lady Senators swept a Tennessee Community College Athletic Association from the Lady Saluqis. WSCC won the opener 3-2 before taking a 2-1 win in the nightcap to secure the mark for Sauceman.
“It’s humbling to reach such a milestone, but it would not be possible without the players that have come through the program since I’ve been here,” Sauceman said. “They are the ones responsible for winning games with their play. So today, I’m thankful for all the players that have played for me here and all the players here now.”
With the wins, the Lady Senators swept the four-game series and improve to 11-2 overall and 4-0 in TCCAA action.
The losses dropped the Lady Saluqis to 1-10 on the year and 0-4 in league play, as they have lost 10 games in a row.
In the opening game, Walters State’s Maddie Griffin and Southwest’s Kayla Wright engaged in a pitcher’s duel with Griffin getting the better of the matchup.
Griffin worked 4.1 scoreless innings and left the game in the fifth inning with a 1-0 lead. The Lady Senators took the lead in the fourth when Lindsee Price walked, moved to third after singles by Courtney Hutcherson and Latosha Rectenwald and scored on a base hit by Andrea Eison.
Griffin did not allow a hit until the fifth inning, when she surrendered a pair of hits and was replaced by Taylor Green, who got out of the inning with no damage done.
The Lady Senators added to the lead in the bottom of the fifth. Haley Taylor reached on a bunt single and moved to third on a double by Hannah Kiser. Price singled home Taylor before Kendi King drove in a run with a base hit to make it 3-0.
Green surrendered a run in the sixth and another in the seventh to Southwest as the lead was trimmed to 3-2, but she got Ali Hare to ground out with the bases loaded to end the game.
Kiser and Eison both had two hits to lead Walters State in the contest. Griffin (1-0) got the win after allowing just two hits while fanning four batters in 4.1 innings. Green notched the save after allowing two runs – one earned – on four hits in 2.2 innings of work.
“Maddie did a great job in her first start, and Green came in and got the job done just like she did on Sunday,” Sauceman said. “We needed to have good pitching today because we didn’t hit the ball very well.”
Sami Jo Kelly and Kelsey Knight both had two hits for the Lady Saluqis in the opening loss. Wright took the defeat after giving up three earned runs on eight hits in 4.1 innings.
In the nightcap, all the scoring took place in the first inning, and Walters State’s Kelsey Weddle outpitched Haylee Power to get the win.
After Southwest scored an unearned run in the top of the first, the Lady Senators took the lead for good in the bottom of the frame. Taylor singled and scored on an error after a doubly by Kiser. King gave Walters State the lead with a single, making it 2-1.
The Lady Saluqis never threatened against Weddle the rest of the way, totaling just two hits in the contest. Weddle (5-2) struck out six batters and allowed only the one unearned run in the win.
Power was sharp after the first inning, but she took the defeat after giving up two earned runs on five hits in six innings.
King smacked a pair of hits in the win for the Lady Senators, while Taylor, Kiser and Price each added hits in the win.
The Lady Senators will be back in action Friday when they travel to Chattanooga to take on TCCAA rival and defending national champion Chattanooga State. First pitch against the 17th ranked Lady Tigers is set for 4 p.m.
-By Matt Daniels, Tribune Sports Editor