Kayla Koch hit a home run in both games of Shawnee State’s doubleheader against Cumberlands (Ky.) as the Shawnee State softball program swept the Patriots, winning game one 8-0 and game two 6-5.
The Bears run-ruled Cumberlands in game one, winning in five innings. Kayla Koch would get Shawnee State’s offense jump started in the first inning, hitting a two-run home run to right field.
Shawnee State then scored five runs in the third inning, all with two outs. The scoring began when Marissa Brown hit a sacrifice fly to center field for the second out, which drove in Ashtyn Saunders. Koch then hit a single in the next at-bat, and advanced to third on Tara Duncan’s double. Both Koch and Duncan then scored on Katlyn Gleich’s RBI double. Gleich scored on a single by Haley Rawlins, and after advancing to second on an error by Cumberlands’ center fielder Cassandra Johnson, Rawlins scored on Katie Wolsefer’s single to cap off the frame.
Brooke Blevins earned the win by pitching a game one gem, allowing no runs on two hits and striking out four in five innings to earn the complete game win. Kacy Russell was charged with the loss for Cumberlands, allowing seven runs on nine hits in four innings.
The Bears picked up where they left off in game two, with Kayla Koch again providing early offense with a three-run homer in the first inning. The Patriots and Bears then traded runs in the third, as Rawlins drove in Madi Phillips with a single in the fourth inning, and Katie Wolsefer scored in the bottom of the sixth through an error on a double steal play to give Shawnee State a 6-1 lead.
McKenzie Whittaker threw six solid frames, but ran into trouble in the top of the seventh. Cassandra Johnson started the inning with a single, and Kaylee James doubled in the next at-bat to put runners at second and third with nobody out. Katie Baldock followed with a sacrifice fly to score James, and Emily Fox doubled home James, with Morgan Elliston reaching on an infield single one batter later. Hannah Stephenson knocked Whittaker out of the game with a double, driving in Fox and moving Elliston to third.
Haley Kilburn would make the score 6-5 with a groundout to third, but Miranda Pauley, who came on to replace Whittaker in the circle, preserved the lead and the win by getting Kailin Yantz to ground out to third to end the game.
Whittaker grabbed the victory by pitching 6.1 innings, allowing five runs on nine hits. Sydney Maynard allowed six runs on eight hits in six innings to get hit with the loss. Pauley earned the save by getting the aforementioned two outs in the game’s final frame.
With the wins, Shawnee State climbed back above the .500 mark at 9-8 and sit with a 3-5 overall mark in the Mid-South Conference. Cumberlands is now 12-16, and sits 4-4 in the league, following the losses.