The Walters State Lady Senators pulled off the most unlikely looking sweep on the softball diamond Wednesday afternoon when Spartanburg Methodist came to town for a non-region twinbill.
The Lady Senators won a slugfest by the mercy rule in the opener, as they pounded out five home runs in a 19-9 victory, but the nightcap was a different story. WSCC needed a walk-off hit by sophomore Lauren Dreitlein in the bottom of the seventh to pull out a 1-0 victory to complete the sweep.
With the sweep, Walters State improves to 19-5 on the season, while the losses dropped the Lady Pioneers to 13-10 on the campaign.
“It really was a weird day when you look at it,” Lady Senators coach Larry Sauceman said. “Both teams struggled at times to get the other out in the first game, then we both struggled to put something together in the second game. I’m just happy we got the run in the second game to finish the sweep because losing right after you win 19-9 would have been tough to take.”
In the opener, WSCC put three runs on the board in the first inning on a three-run homer by Kendi King, and they never looked back.
The Lady Senators added five more in the second, as Olivia Lawson pounded a leadoff homer and Kadie Bledsoe scored on a throwing error. Dreitlein added an RBI double in front of a two-run homer by Amber Cook to up the margin to 8-0.
After Spartanburg scored four in the third, WSCC answered back with a grand slam by Dreitlein to make it 12-4, but the Lady Pioneers scored two more in the fourth to trim the deficit to 12-6.
The Lady Senators added seven more runs in the fourth, as Bledsoe drove in a run with a bases loaded walk, and Andrea McMillian added a two-run double. Andrea Eison ripped a three-run homer, and Lawson plated a run with a bases loaded walk of her own to make it 19-6.
The Lady Pioneers scored three more runs in the fifth but could not keep the game from ending by the mercy rule.
Dreitlein had her best day in a Lady Senators uniform, as she drove in six runs on the day, including five RBIs in the opener. Cook added three hits with a round tripper and two RBIs, while Eison belted two hits with a homer and three RBIs.
King added two hits with her first homer of the season and three runs batted in, while Lawson had two hits with a long ball as well. McMillian had a two-run double in the opening win.
“We hit the ball really well in the first game, and that was more like what I’ve expected to see all year,” Sauceman said.
Taylor Green (7-0) picked up the win by allowing seven runs – five earned – on eight hits in five innings of work. Megan Thompson walked both batters she faced in relief before Green came back in to close out the game.
Emily Kale was saddled with the defeat after giving up eight earned runs on six hits in 1.2 innings. Shannan Mas surrendered 11 runs – eight earned – on six hits in 2.1 innings of relief.
The finale turned into a pitcher’s duel between Walters State’s Emily Kendrick and Spartanburg’s Taylor Carpenter. Neither allowed much through six innings, but Kendrick had to work out of a jam in the seventh to give her teammates a chance to win it.
The Lady Pioneers had runners on second and third with one out, but Kendrick got a ground ball to record an out at the plate before striking out Alex Oliver looking to end the threat.
WSCC got the winning run in the home half of the seventh. Ashley Starnes drew a leadoff walk before Alyssa King and Eison both singled to load the bases with no outs. Dreitlein drove home Starnes with the game-winner by slapping a single to right for her sixth RBI of the day.
Lawson and Ashli Rogers had two hits each in the nightcap with Rogers slapping a double, while Erin Roper and King both added a two-bagger in the win.
Kendrick (7-2) was masterful inside the circle in claiming the win. The freshman scattered three hits while fanning eight batters in a complete-game effort.
“Kendrick did a great job, and that was one of her best outings since the early games of the season,” Sauceman said. “She threw strikes and didn’t walk anybody, but more importantly she gave us a chance to win.”
Carpenter took the loss after giving up one earned run on nine hits while striking out six and walking one in 6.1 innings. WSCC left 10 runners on the bases against Carpenter.
The Lady Senators will be back in action Friday when they travel to Cleveland to take on TCCAA rival Cleveland State in the first of two doubleheaders.
-By Matt Daniels, Sports Editor