Tusculum drops two on first day of Shaw Softball Challenge

Tusculum drops two on first day of Shaw Softball Challenge

RALEIGH, N.C. --- The Tusculum College softball team opened play at the Shaw Softball Challenge on Saturday, falling 6-2 to Chowan and 9-1 to eighth-ranked Georgia College in a game shortened to five innings.

The Pioneers (12-7) will complete play at the tournament on Sunday when they face Bowie State at 12 noon.

Chowan 6, Tusculum 2 - box score
The Hawks scored all six of their runs in the first two innings, while Kayla Robins allowed just three hits and struck out five to snap the Pioneers' eight-game winning streak.

Chowan (7-7) scored twice in the first off Tusculum starter Cayla Cecil (5-1) on RBI singles by Danielle Baccus and Kris Neal, and added four more in the second as Katrina Simmons was safe on an error to knock in a run, Tina White had an RBI double, and Tori Cragan and Neal hit back-to-back sacrifice flies.

Robins (5-3) retired the first 10 Pioneers she faced until Carolyn Williamson reached on an infield single with one out in the fourth. In the fifth, Jenna Restivo reached on an infield single with one out and Treslyn Reese connected for her first home run of the season with two outs to drive home pinch-runner Miranda Beeler and pull the Pioneers within 6-2.

Cecil gave up nine hits and six runs (three earned) while working all seven innings for the Pioneers, with four strikeouts and one walk. White and Neal each went 2-for-4 for the Hawks, while Baccus was 2-for-3 with a pair of runs batted in.

Georgia College 9, Tusculum 1 (5 innings) - box score
The 8th-ranked Bobcats (18-3) scored four runs in the first inning and five more in the win over the Pioneers. Marisa Boyette (6-2) allowed just two hits and struck out six over five innings of work to earn the victory.

The Bobcats finished with just seven hits in the game, but took advantage of six walks from Pioneer pitching. Abi LeRoy and Lacey Najafi each went 2-for-3 while Taylor Campbell walked twice and scored two runs for Georgia College.

After the Bobcats took a 4-0 lead in the bottom of the first, the Pioneers scored their only run of the game in the third. Bailey Culler led off with a walk, and pinch-runner Harper Ford came home to score when Williamson stole second base with two outs.

Morgan Ward reached safely in both of her plate appearances with a single, a walk and a stolen base, while Taylor Battle had a single in the first inning and also stole a base.

Eliza Davis (5-3) pitched 2 1/3 innings for the Pioneers and allowed all of the Bobcats' runs in the game. Taylor Plemons came on in the third and pitched 1 2/3 hitless innings of relief.

- TC -