Lincoln Memorial escapes with doubleheader sweep of Tusculum

Lincoln Memorial escapes with doubleheader sweep of Tusculum
HARROGATE, Tenn. ---

Lincoln Memorial University swept a South Atlantic Conference softball doubleheader from Tusculum College on Tuesday afternoon, winning game one 10-2 in six innings before holding on for a 5-4 victory in game two.

The Pioneers (15-21, 1-7 SAC) return to the road Saturday afternoon for a SAC doubleheader at Coker beginning at 1 p.m.

Game 1: Lincoln Memorial 10, Tusculum 2 (6 innings) - box score
Allie Jones went 3-for-4 with four runs batted in, while Jennifer Moose and winning pitcher Brianna Taylor hit home runs for the Railsplitters, who scored four runs in the third and five more in the sixth to claim the win.

Taylor (10-8) allowed three hits and two runs (one earned) in six innings of work for Lincoln Memorial, striking out one and walking none. Moose went 2-for-3 and scored three runs while BriAnna Schrimpf was 2-for-4 with a pair of doubles and two RBIs and Meredith Johnson had two hits and knocked in a pair as well.

The teams went into the bottom of the third inning scoreless before the Railsplitters rallied with two outs against Pioneer starter Eliza Davis. Schrimpf had an RBI double, Jones hit a two-run single and Johnson added an RBI double as part of a string of six straight hits from Lincoln Memorial in the inning.

Tusculum rallied with two runs in the top of the fifth as Robin Stoner led off with a single and Morgan Ward reached on a throwing error. After Rachel Wisner was hit to load the bases, pinch-hitter Jenna Restivo hit a two-run single to drive home pinch runners Taylor Lewis and Harper Ford and cut the margin to 4-2. With runners at second and third, Taylor was able to escape the jam on a comebacker, a strikeout and a groundout.

The Railsplitters added a run in the bottom of the fifth on a solo home run by Moose, and tacked on five more in the sixth on a solo shot by Taylor, a double by Schrimpf, a two-run single from Jones and a game-ending single by Johnson.

Davis (8-11) allowed 12 hits and 10 earned runs in 5 2/3 innings for the Pioneers, with two strikeouts and no walks.

Game 2: Lincoln Memorial 5, Tusculum 4 - box score
The Pioneers collected 15 hits in the game, including four hits from Taylor Battle out of the leadoff spot, but left the bases loaded in the fourth, fifth and seventh in the hard-luck loss.

Lincoln Memorial was led at the plate by Savannah Couch, who went 2-for-2 with two runs batted in, while Moose was 2-for-3 with an RBI. The Railsplitters finished with seven hits in the game off Pioneer starter Cayla Cecil (5-5), who was charged with three earned runs and walked two.

In addition to Battle's career-high four hits, the Pioneers received two hits apiece from Carolyn Williamson, Stoner, Restivo and Ward. Tusculum's 15 hits were one shy of its season high set against Virginia-Wise on March 3.

The Railsplitters took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first on an RBI single by Moose with two outs, and added two more runs in the second on a two-run single by Couch. Tusculum responded with a run in the third off LMU starter Samantha Smith as Williamson doubled with one out and scored on a two-out double by Restivo that cut the Pioneer deficit to 3-1.

Tusculum loaded the bases with two outs in the fourth but were unable to score, and had the sacks full with no outs in the fifth but saw two popups and a groundout bring the threat to an end. Lincoln Memorial pushed across two runs in the fifth on an RBI single by Schrimpf and a two-out fielding error to take a 5-1 lead into the sixth.

The Pioneers responded with three runs in the top of the sixth against Taylor, who came in the game in the fourth inning. Battle and Williamson led off the inning with back-to-back singles, followed by a double steal. Stoner then delivered a two-run single to pull the Pioneers within 5-3, and Rachel Wisner came through with a two-out single to bring in pinch-runner Emily White and make the score 5-4.

Tusculum rallied again in the seventh against Smith, who came back to the circle in relief of Taylor with one out. A single by Battle and a two-out hit by Stoner were followed by an intentional walk to Restivo, but Smith wriggled out of the jam with a popup to end the game.

Smith (5-6) worked four innings across her two stints in the circle for the Railsplitters, yielding one run on eight hits while striking out two. Taylor gave up seven hits and three runs (two earned) in three innings, with one walk and no strikeouts.

- TC -