Lander uses timely hitting, pitching to sweep Tusculum

Lander uses timely hitting, pitching to sweep Tusculum

GREENWOOD – The Lander softball team used a seven-run inning and a pair of complete games in the circle to earn a home sweep of Tusculum on Saturday afternoon at Doug Spears Field.

Lander (11-3) bounced back from a three-game skid with a pair of 9-4 and 3-1 wins over the visiting Pioneers (6-6). 

"Overall, I'm proud the bats finally came back," said head coach Glen Crawford. "We had 20 hits on the day, scored 12 runs, had good pitching and good defense, so overall it was a pretty good day."

Tusculum struck first as Taylor Battle opened up game one with a triple and scored on a sacrifice fly from Anna Alloway. A sacrifice bunt that brought home Delaney Guerrero pushed the Pioneer lead to 2-0. 

Kelli McCormack put the Bearcats on the board in the bottom of the first with a two-run single that knotted the score at 2-2, but Tusculum reclaimed the lead in the top of the fourth on a solo homer from Emily Hester. The Pioneers stretched the lead to 4-2 in the sixth inning on an RBI single from Guerrero. 

A walk and two singles loaded the bases with no outs for Lander in the bottom of the sixth inning and Sydney Grimes tied the game with a two run double. Chandler Carey followed up with another double that plated a pair as the Bearcats took their first lead of the game, 6-4. After a single and a flyout, Dariean Ward's single to left field brought home Carey and Brianna Surrento laced Lander's third two-run double of the inning to make the score 9-4. 

McKenzi Ferguson (6-1) earned the win for the Bearcats, surrendering four runs on nine hits with three strikeouts and two walks in 7.0 innings.

Tusculum's Taylor Plemons (3-3) took the loss, allowing six runs on six hits with three walks and four strikeouts in 1.2 innings of relief. 

The Pioneers grabbed an early lead in the second game on Anna Alloway's solo home run, but the Bearcats responded again with two runs of their own in the bottom of the first. Casey Wooten reached base and stole second and third, putting the tying run on with no outs. Grimes then walked and got caught in a rundown, allowing Wooten to race home and tie the game. Grimes later came around to score on a sacrifice fly from Halie Sorrow and put Lander ahead 2-1.

The Bearcats pushed the lead to 3-1 on an RBI single from Kasey Rogers in the bottom of the third. 

From there, Lander held the Pioneers at bay as Surrento (4-1) scattered eight hits and one walk while striking out three in a complete-game effort. Lizzy Galloway (0-1) was tagged with the loss, allowing two runs on two hits with one walk without recording an out.