JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. --- Carson-Newman University swept a South Atlantic Conference doubleheader from Tusculum University on Tuesday afternoon, winning the opener 6-3 and taking game two by a 17-4 score in five innings.
The Pioneers (17-15, 5-7 SAC) return to the road on Saturday for a 1 p.m. doubleheader at Queens. Carson-Newman improved to 18-7 overall and 5-7 in the SAC with the sweep.
Game 1: Carson-Newman 6, Tusculum 3
Allison Rager (9-4) carried a shutout into the seventh inning and Lacie Rinus went 2-for-3 with three runs scored and two runs batted in at the plate for the Eagles. Abby Fiessinger was 3-for-4 with two runs batted in and Leah Sohm went 2-for-3 and scored twice as Carson-Newman outhit Tusculum 9-5 in the win.
Rager struck out five and walked one and allowed two earned runs in the victory for the Eagles. Ivee Richesin (6-4) took the loss for Tusculum after giving up five earned runs and striking out three in her fourth complete game of the season.
Tusculum threatened in the first inning as Taylor Battle led off with a triple and Grayson Brown walked with two outs, but Rager was able to retire the side on a line drive to short. Carson-Newman scored in its half of the first as Rinus led off with a walk, took third on a double by Fiessinger and scored on a groundout by KaraLynne Levi.
Rager would retire 16 of 17 batters from the end of the first inning through the sixth, allowing just a one-out double to Casey in the fifth. Meanwhile, Richesin settled in and held the Eagles to just one hit in the second, third and fourth innings combined.
In the fifth, the Eagles tacked on two runs as Sohm led off with a single and scored from first as a hit by Rinus was misplayed in the outfield. Fiessinger followed with a single to drive in Rinus and give the Eagles a 3-0 lead. Carson-Newman tacked on three runs in the sixth on a two-run triple by Rinus and an RBI single by Fiessinger to go up 6-0.
Tusculum fought back in the top of the seventh as Brown reached on a single and Anna Alloway was safe on an error. Johnson then doubled home pinch-runners Brittany Fletcher and Grace Jones to spoil the shutout and cut the Carson-Newman lead to 6-2. Casey followed with a single to plate Johnson and pull the Pioneers within 6-3, but a double-play grounder and a foul popup allowed the Eagles to claim the win.
Game 2: Carson-Newman 17, Tusculum 4 (5 innings)
A nine-run second inning and a six-run fourth propelled the Eagles to the five-inning win over the Pioneers. Fiessinger went 2-for-3 with a grand slam and five runs batted in as all nine starters had at least one hit for Carson-Newman, which had 14 as a team.
The Eagles scored twice in the first off Pioneer starter Taylor Plemons on a two-run double by Haley Caldwell, then strung together nine runs on eight hits in the second. Sohm had an RBI single and an RBI double in the inning, which included a two-run double by Natalie Lankster and a two-run single by Levi.
Rinus pitched game two for the Eagles and gave up two runs in the fourth as Johnson led off with a single and Casey walked. With two outs, Brittney Franse delivered an RBI single to score Johnson, and Sammie West followed with a single to drive in pinch-runner Emily White and cut the margin to 11-2.
The Eagles came back with six runs in their half of the fourth, coming on a bases-loaded walk to Lankster, a pinch-hit single by Peyton Bacon and a grand slam by Fiessinger. Tusculum plated two runs in the fifth against reliever Abby Hicks as Emily Hester led off with a double and pinch-runner Jones scored on a single by Johnson. Battle then came through with a two-out single to knock in Johnson with the game's final run.
Rinus (8-3) worked four innings for the Eagles, giving up two runs on seven hits with two strikeouts and a walk. Plemons (5-5) surrendered nine hits and six earned runs in 1 2/3 innings for the Pioneers before giving way to Allison Pate for 1 2/3 innings and Richesin for the final two outs of the fourth. Pate struck out three batters and gave up four hits during her sting in the circle.
The Pioneers had 10 hits in game two, led by West and Johnson who were each 2-for-3 with an RBI and Franse who was 2-for-2 with a run driven in. Johnson also scored a pair of runs.