Lady Pioneers pick up first softball win of season
COLUMBUS, Ga. — The Tusculum College softball team picked up its first victory of the 2014 season with a 3-0 win over Belmont Abbey College Sunday morning at the Cougar Classic, hosted by Columbus State University.
The Pioneers (1-5) dropped their second game of the day with a 2-0 loss to the host Cougars, and return home to play their first games of the season at Red Edmonds Field on Tuesday at 2 p.m. with a doubleheader against Virginia-Wise.
Kelly King (1-2) threw a six-hitter and struck out five batters to lift the Pioneers over the Crusaders for their first win of the year.
Tavi Parris knocked in two runs with RBI singles in the third and fifth and Kaytlin Stroinski scored a pair of runs as Tusculum finished with eight hits as a team in the game, including three bunt singles during a two-run third inning.
After leaving runners in scoring position in each of the first two innings, the Pioneers broke through with a pair of runs in the third against Crusader starter Catelyn Presley. Miranda Beeler walked with one out, Stroinski followed with a bunt single and the runners moved up on a passed ball. Courtney Hutcherson then drove home Beeler with a bunt hit to give the Pioneers a 1-0 lead, and Parris followed with a bunt hit of her own to drive home Stroinski with the second run of the inning.
In the fifth, Stroinski reached on an error, stole second and scored on a two-out single by Parris that gave the Pioneers a 3-0 lead. Belmont Abbey threatened in the sixth, putting runners at second and third with two outs, but King got Jena Reisanauer looking at a called third strike to end the threat. King then retired the side in order in the seventh to finish off the victory.
Nicole Ball was 2-for-2 with a walk and handled six chances without an error at third base for the Pioneers, while Katie Brennan had a hit and Paige Sneed drew a walk in three plate appearances apiece.
Presley worked all six innings for the Crusaders, allowing one earned run on eight hits with four strikeouts and three walks.
In the nightcap, a two-run home run by Lindsey DeFee in the fifth inning and a one-hitter from Taylor Turner were the difference as the Cougars shut out the Pioneers.
Turner (3-2) gave up just a third-inning single to Ball and a walk to Stroinski in the fourth while striking out nine batters. It was the fourth time in six games this season that the Pioneers were shut out.
King (1-3) was the hard-luck loser for the Pioneers, matching Turner inning for inning until Turner led off the fifth with a double and DeFee followed with her second home run of the season to right field for a 2-0 Columbus State lead. Turner, who had retired six straight batters over the previous two innings prior to being staked to the lead, finished off the win by setting down the final six Tusculum batters, including three on strikeouts.
The Pioneers’ best scoring chance came in the third as Brennan reached on an error and Ball followed with an infield hit. After a strikeout and a fielders’ choice left runners at second and third with two outs, Turner got a called third strike to close out the inning.
King allowed six hits over six innings and struck out two without walking a batter, needing only 55 pitches to get through six innings.
-From Contributed Reports