TIGERVILLE, S.C. --- The Tusculum College softball team split a non-conference doubleheader at North Greenville University on Tuesday afternoon, winning the opener 1-0 behind a three-hitter from Cayla Cecil before dropping the nightcap by a score of 3-0.
The Pioneers (8-4) will play their home opener on Saturday against Lees-McRae. The doubleheader at Red Edmonds Field will begin at 2 p.m.
Game 1: Tusculum 1, North Greenville 0
Cecil (4-1) allowed three hits for her second career shutout, working out of trouble in each of the last three innings to pick up her second complete game of the season. Taylor Battle went 2-for-3 for the Pioneers and Sammie West had a pair of hits, including an RBI single in the fifth that knocked in the game's only run.
Tusculum picked up its first hit on a two-out single by West in the top of the third inning, while North Greenville had runners in each of the first three innings but did not score. The game remained scoreless until the top of the fifth, when Delaney Guerrero reached on a two-out error, went to second on a single by Battle and scored on a single by West.
The Crusaders put two runners on base with one out in the fifth and two on with nobody out in the sixth, but a popup and a groundout ended the fifth, and a foul out followed by a pop-up double play brought the sixth to a close with Tusculum still ahead 1-0.
The Pioneers threatened in the seventh as Robin Stoner, Allison Pate and Battle all singled with one out, but back-to-back ground balls to third base brought the rally to a close. North Greenville opened the seventh with a leadoff double from Grace DeBoer, and a bunt moved the tying run to third with one out. However, a popup to Guerrero at third and a foul fly ball to Battle in left on Cecil's 77th and final pitch ended the game.
Amanda Coffrin (3-4) took the loss in game one for the Crusaders, allowing six hits and an unearned run while striking out five and walking none. Megan Johnson reached base on a pair of walks from Cecil, the only bases on balls allowed by the Pioneer starter in the game.
Game 2: North Greenville 3, Tusculum 0
Brooklyn Fort held the Pioneers to three hits and Shayna Finley went 3-for-4 with a home run, two runs batted in and two runs scored as the Crusaders (6-6) salvaged the split of the doubleheader.
Fort (3-1) allowed a single to Rachel Wisner in the second, a double to Morgan Mahaffey in the third and a pinch-hit single to Bailey Culler in the seventh. Fort finished the game with eight strikeouts and one walk in her second complete game and first shutout of the season.
Finley singled and scored on a double by Morgan Herlong in the first, collected an RBI single in the second and hit a solo home run in the fourth as part of a nine-hit attack from North Greenville. Kate Lee went 2-for-3 as the Crusaders received hits from six different batters in the lineup.
Taylor Plemons (3-3) worked all six innings for the Pioneers, striking out one and walking none.