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Pioneers swept in SAC doubleheader at Coker

Pioneers swept in SAC doubleheader at Coker

HARTSVILLE, S.C. --- Coker swept Tusculum in a South Atlantic Conference softball doubleheader Saturday afternoon, winning the opener 3-2 despite being held to one hit, then scoring all five runs in the first inning in a 5-2 victory in game two.

The Pioneers (17-14, 2-4 SAC) will be back on the road Tuesday at Anderson for a SAC doubleheader beginning at 3 p.m.

Game 1: Coker 3, Tusculum 2
Pioneer starter Allison Pate (8-7) allowed just one hit, but it was a two-run home run in the bottom of the second by the Cobras' Hannah Goodman. Tusculum tied the game in the fourth as an error brought home two runs, but Coker plated the winning run in the fifth on a wild pitch.

Pate struck out three, but issued a season-high six walks in her eighth complete game of the season. Coker starter Christine Carver (13-5) allowed four hits and no earned runs in six innings, striking out four, with Taylor Forehand pitching a scoreless seventh for her first save.

Coker had the first baserunner of the game as Cacey Simmons led off the bottom of the first inning with a walk, but a line drive to Delaney Guerrero in right field was turned into a double play to end the inning. In the second, Taylor Johnson collected a leadoff single for the Pioneers, but she was stranded at second base.

In the bottom of the second, Maria Williamson led off with a walk, and Goodman followed with her first home run of the season to give the Cobras a 2-0 lead. The Pioneers used a two-out rally in the fourth to tie the score, as Johnson was hit by a pitch and Emily Hester and Sammie West followed with infield singles to load the bases. Emma Casey then reached on an error as both Johnson and Hester scored to tie the game at 2-2.

Coker loaded the bases in the bottom of the fourth on a hit batter and two walks, but a fly ball to center field ended the threat for the Cobras. Guerrero had a one-out double for the Pioneers in the fifth but could not advance any further. In the bottom ofthe fifth, back-to-back errors with two outs put runners at first and third, and a wild pitch from Pate allowed Brianna Strickland to score the go-ahead run.

Tusculum put a runner in scoring position in the seventh as pinch-hitter Gabby Williams singled with one out and Brittney Franse stole second. A groundout moved Franse to third, but Forehand retired the side on a comebacker to preserve the win for Carver.

No player on either team had more than one hit in the game, though Johnson reached twice for the Pioneers on a single and a hit batsman. Williamson walked twice for the Cobras, while Goodman also drew a walk in addition to her home run.

Game 2: Coker 5, Tusculum 2
Goodman hit her second home run of the day, a three-run shot, as part of a five-run first inning and Forehand (3-2) scattered nine hits to earn the win in game two for the Cobras (22-10, 3-3 SAC).

Anna Alloway went 3-for-4 and Taylor Johnson was 2-for-3 with a run batted in for the Pioneers, who outhit the Cobras 9-5 but left 10 runners on base in the game two loss.

The Pioneers mounted a rally in the top of the first inning as Taylor Battle led off by reaching on an error, stealing second and taking third on a groundout. Johnson walked with two outs, but a strikeout from Forehand ended the inning.

Coker piled up five runs on four hits in the bottom of the first against Tusculum starter Taylor Plemons. Strickland was hit by a pitch with one out, took second on a single by Hannah Price and scored on a single by Williamson. Goodman then followed with a three-run home run for a 4-0 Coker lead, and the fifth run scored as Anna Gluhosky tripled and came home on a groundout by Makayla Shore.

Trailing 5-0, the Pioneers came right back in the top of the second as Sammie West singled and reached third on an error. After a strikeout, West was cut down at home on a grounder to short by Morgan Mahaffey. The Pioneers would load the bases with two outs, but a ground ball to third ended the inning.

In the third, the Pioneers received back-to-back singles from Alloway and Johnson, but a ground ball double play ended the threat. Tusculum got on the scoreboard with two runs in the fifth as Battle led off with a single and scored on a double by Guerrero. Alloway singled to send Guerrero to third, and a groundout by Johnson brought in Guerrero to cut the deficit to 5-2. Alloway would reach third with one out, but two groundouts left her stranded.

Coker tried to extend its lead in the fifth against Tusculum reliever Lizzy Galloway, who entered the game in the second inning, as the Cobras loaded the bases on an error, an infield single and a walk. However, Galloway avoided damage by retiring the side on a fly ball.

Trailing by three runs, the Pioneers rallied one last time in the seventh as Alloway and Johnson singled with one out. With the tying run at the plate, Forehand notched her fourth strikeout of the game for the final out.

Plemons (6-6) gave up five runs on four hits in one inning, with Galloway following with five innings of shutout relief, allowing one hit and one walk while striking out a pair.

Williamson was the only player with more than one hit in game two for Coker, finishing 2-for-3 with an RBI and a run scored. Goodman also drew a walk in addition to her home run, which was her second in as many games after going her first 20 games of the season without a long ball.

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