The Shawnee State softball squad took home a four-game series victory over Cumberlands (Ky.) on Saturday, splitting the doubleheader by losing 4-3 in game one and winning 12-6 in game two.
Game one got off to a poor start for Shawnee State as Cumberlands knocked starting pitcher Miranda Pauley out of the game by the third inning of play. The Patriots scored a run in the first and two tallies in the second while hitting several hard line drives off of Pauley.
Shawnee State got runs back in the first and second inning, as Marissa Brown singled home Ashtyn Saunders in the first inning on a single to tie the game at 1-1. Down 3-1 in the second, Katlyn Gleich singled and advanced to third on a bunt when Cumberlands failed to cover the base. Gleich then scored on a sacrifice fly to left field by Katie Wolsefer.
However, the Bears never lose resolve, as Shawnee State tied the game in the fifth inning behind Victoria Bevington’s walk to lead off the inning, and Marissa Brown’s RBI double one batter later that scored Bevington.
The game then headed to extra innings, where Cumberlands scored a run in the top of the eighth against Brooke Blevins to take a 4-3 lead. In the bottom of the eighth, Shawnee State left the tying run stranded on first as Cumberlands held on for the win.
Taryn Sigl threw eight innings for Cumberlands, allowing three runs on eight hits and striking out six to get the win. Brooke Blevins allowed just one run on six hits and struck out four to take a hard luck loss.
The Bears got the bats rolling again in game two. After Brown singled home Saunders in the bottom of the first, Shawnee State scored seven in the bottom half of the second to take a commanding 8-0 lead, capped by Brown’s grand slam to left field.
Despite the big lead, Cumberlands got back in the game by scoring five off of McKenzie Whittaker in the top of the third. However, Brooke Blevins would come into the game to stave off the Patriots, and Shawnee State scored a run in the third and the fourth, along with two in the sixth to stay out front and earn the win.
Blevins earned the winning decision in game two by throwing four-and-a-third innings, allowing only one run on four hits. Aryanna Cannoy would take the loss, allowing seven runs on seven hits in an inning-plus of work.
Overall, several offensive standouts have continued to pace the Bears throughout their 10-9 start to the season. Saunders continues to pace the unit with her .476 batting average, which leads the team. The freshman utility player from Lancaster, Ohio leads the team in hits (30), at-bats (63), stolen bases (eight), runs scored (22), and on-base percentage (.508)
Brown, a sophomore catcher from Liberty Township, Ohio, holds a .421 average. She paces the squad in RBI (30), walks (seven), doubles (six), slugging percentage (.684), OPS (1.040) and is tied for the team lead in home runs with three.
Gleich, a junior outfielder from Grove City, Ohio, holds a .371 batting average and a .907 OPS for the 2017 season. She hasn’t committed a single defensive error in 17 chances and has added five RBI to the table.
Koch, a junior who graduated from Valley, boosted her average to .315 with her latest performances over the weekend. The junior from Lucasville holds a .932 OPS percentage and leads the unit with nine walks on the year. The infielder is also tied with Brown for the team lead in home runs, with her three homers on the season.
With her latest perfomances on the mound over the weekend, Brooke Blevins dropped her ERA to 2.95. The freshman from Frankfort, Ohio has thrown three complete games over the course of the year.
With the split, Shawnee State moves to 10-9 on the season and is 4-6 in the Mid-South Conference. Cumberlands moves to 13-17 and sits at 5-5 in the league. The Bears currently sit in fourth place in the Mid-South.
Shawnee State softball returns to action on Wednesday, March 29th when they travel to Kentucky to take on Pikeville in Mid-South Conference action. First pitch is scheduled for 3 p.m.