Tusculum splits doubleheader with Catawba to wrap up regular season

Tusculum splits doubleheader with Catawba to wrap up regular season

Tusculum College split a South Atlantic Conference softball doubleheader with Catawba College on Saturday at Red Edmonds Field, with the visiting Indians winning the opener 1-0 and the Pioneers taking game two by a score of 3-0.

The Pioneers finish their regular season with a 21-31 overall record and 6-16 in the SAC, while the Indians head to the SAC Tournament as the number-two seed after going 34-13 in the regular season and 18-4 in the conference.

Game 1: Catawba 1, Tusculum 0 - box score
An unearned run in the sixth inning was the only blemish in a pitcher's duel between Catawba ace Carley Tysinger and Tusculum starter Eliza Davis. The Indians had 10 hits in the game, but needed a two-out error in the sixth inning to push across the only run of the game.

Catawba had the game's first scoring chance in the top of the second as Morgan Brann led off with a single and took second on a sacrifice bunt by Tysinger. Taylor Adams reached on an infield single to shortstop, but Brann was thrown out at the plate as she tried to score. The Indians also had two hits in the third inning, but Davis retired the side on a fly ball to keep the game scoreless.

Tusculum's first threat against Tysinger came in the third with one out, when Rachel Wisner hit a sinking liner to right that went all the way to the fence for a triple. After Taylor Lewis reached on a bunt single and stole second, Tysinger struck out the next two batters to end the inning.

In the fifth, the Indians put runners at first and second with nobody out, but an infield popup, a comebacker and a ground out to third ended the inning without a run scoring.

Catawba finally broke the tie in the sixth as Brann singled with one out and gave way to pinch-runner Beth Ann Martin. After a fly ball for the second out, the Indians loaded the bases on a single by Adams and a fielder's choice grounder. Lynnsey Taylor was then safe on an error as Martin scored the game's first run.

The Pioneers mounted a rally in the sixth as Miranda Beeler and Carolyn Williamson reached on back-to-back infield singles with one out. However, a strikeout and a fielder's choice groundout retired the Pioneers and kept the Indians on top 1-0.

Protecting the 1-0 lead, Tysinger walked Morgan Ward on four pitches with one out in the seventh then hit Wisner with a pitch with two outs. However, her 10th strikeout of the game finished off the four-hit shutout for Tysinger, who needed 91 pitches to improve her record to 27-7.

Davis (10-16) did not walk or strike out a batter and used just 81 pitches, while working around 10 singles in the complete-game effort for the Pioneers.

Game 2: Tusculum 3, Catawba 0 - box score
Davis (11-16) went the distance again in game two, allowing seven singles and striking out five in her second complete-game shutout of the season. Meanwhile, Tysinger (27-8) struck out 12 and allowed seven hits, but gave up three unearned runs in the second inning that the Pioneers made stand up.

Catawba picked up back-to-back singles with two outs in the first, but Davis set down the side on a fly ball to center field. Tusculum threatened in its half of the first as Beeler led off with a single off the third-base bag and moved up to third on a pair of wild pitches. However, Tysinger got out of trouble on a popped-up bunt and a called third strike.

Tusculum broke through in the bottom of the second inning with two runs on four hits. Jordan Keene led off with a single and Bailey Culler was safe on an error with one out. After a strikeout, Taylor Battle singled to left field to drive home Harper Ford and give the Pioneers a 1-0 lead. Following a bunt single by Beeler, Williamson delivered a single to left to drive in Battle and pinch-runner Morgan Mahaffey for a 3-0 Tusculum advantage.

Meanwhile, the Indians had exactly one hit in each of the last five innings against Davis, including the seventh when Adams led off with a walk and Holli Chandler reached on an infield single. After a popup, the Pioneers got the final two outs when Caroline Turner hit a line drive to Emily Hester at third base, which she converted into a game-ending double play.

Battle went 2-for-3 in game two for the Pioneers with her conference-best 29th stolen base, while Beeler was 2-for-4 with a pair of singles. Taylor paced the Indians at the plate as she went 2-for-3.

- TC -