The Shawnee State softball program swept their way into fourth place in the Mid-South Conference over the past week, defeating Pikeville 4-0 in game one and 2-0 in game two on Wednesday and collecting a pair of victories over Cumberlands (Tenn.), 8-5 in the first contest and 7-5 in the second affair.
Shawnee State was the beneficiary of five Pikeville errors in game one, with three of them leading to two runs in the bottom of the first. After Katlyn Gleich walked, Marisa Brown hit a single to right-center field, which was bobbled by UPike right fielder Destiny Molden, allowing Brown to reach second and Gleich to score. Kayla Koch moved Brown to third on a groundout, and Tara Duncan hit a pop-up dropped by Pikeville catcher Jill Bohnert. Duncan and Brown then attempted a delayed double steal, and after receiving a throw from Bohnert, Hannah Absher’s throw would be high and wide back home to allow Brown to score.
Kayla Koch moved Brown to third on a groundout, and Tara Duncan hit a pop-up dropped by Pikeville catcher Jill Bohnert. Duncan and Brown then attempted a delayed double steal, and after receiving a throw from Bohnert, Hannah Absher’s throw would be high and wide back home to allow Brown to score.
Shawnee State picked up insurance runs in the fourth and sixth, as Duncan reached first with one out when Kitty Raymond misplayed a grounder that rolled into left field. Katie Wolsefer then reached base on a misplayed grounder by Absher to extend the inning. Haley Rawlins and Megan Shupert then obtained back-to-back walks to drive in Duncan and pick up SSU’s third run of the game.
The Bears scored their first earned run in the bottom of the sixth as Mackenzie Riley and Katie Wolsefer connected on back-to-back singles to start the inning off. Haley Rawlins then followed with a walk, and pinch-hitter Miranda Melvin grounded out to third to score Riley to make the score 4-0.
The story of the game for Shawnee State was starting pitcher Brooke Blevins, who threw a complete game shutout. Blevins threw seven innings, allowing only three hits and striking out four to earn the win. Pikeville’s Alexandra Quill went six innings, allowing four runs on three hits, with only one earned run charged to her.
Game two was a pitcher’s duel as Mckenzie Whittaker and Hannah Skaggs stifled the offenses through five and a half innings.
Shawnee State finally broke through in the bottom of the sixth, however, as Rawlins led off the inning with a single, and was replaced by pinch runner Madi Phillips, who stole second.
After Shupert struck out, Ashtyn Saunders moved Phillips to third with a bunt and was beat by half a step by the throw. Gleich then walked, and with runners on the corners, Brown hit a flare to center that dropped just out of the reach of Pikeville center fielder Lee Griffin, allowing Phillips to score and Gleich to reach third. Koch drove in Gleich with a single in the next at-bat, and Shawnee State worked around a one-out single to claim the win.
Mckenzie Whittaker would again make pitching the story of the game for Shawnee State, throwing a complete game shutout by allowing no runs on six hits to get the win. Hannah Skaggs allowed two runs on three hits and struck out five in the loss.
On Saturday against Cumberlands (Tenn.) Shawnee State opened the scoring in game one with four runs in the third inning. Koch drove in Shupert with a double, also moving Gleich to third. Duncan then singled in Gleich and moved Koch to third. Riley then hit a grounder to third, reaching on an infield single and advancing to second on a wild throw, with both Koch and Duncan scoring on the play.
After Cumberland got three runs back in the bottom half of the third, Shawnee State kept the pressure on with runs in the fourth, fifth and sixth. Gleich hit a solo home run in the top of the fourth to make the score 5-3. After another Phoenix run, Wolsefer drove in Koch with a double to make the score 6-4. Another Phoenix run cut the deficit to one again, but Brown singled in Shupert to give Shawnee State the 7-5 margin of victory.
Blevins went the distance for Shawnee State, allowing five runs on 12 hits and striking out four to get the win. Kaitlin Kralj allowed six runs on eight hits in five innings to take the loss.
The Bears also broke the bats out in game two as well. Rawlins drove in Duncan in the top of the second to give Shawnee State the lead, and Gleich hit a two-run single to make the score 3-0. After Cumberland got a run back in the bottom of the second, Koch and Melvin hit home runs in the third and fifth, with Melvin’s being a two-run shot, to extend the lead back out to 6-1.
Cumberland again responded with two in the bottom half of the inning, but Shawnee State grabbed two more runs in the top of the sixth. Brown drove in Saunders with a single, and Phillips scored on a double by Tara Duncan with help from an error in the outfield
Whittaker allowed three runs on nine hits in five innings to earn the game two win. Alexa Snyder allowed three runs on three hits in two innings pitched to take the loss.
The wins move Shawnee State’s record to 19-16 on the season and 10-12 in the Mid-South Conference. Cumberland is now 15-29-1 overall and holds a 2-20 record in the league.