GREENEVILLE, Tenn. --- The Tusculum University softball team swept the doubleheader over the Cedarville Yellow Jackets on Saturday afternoon. Both games needed only five innings as the Pioneers took the first half of the day 15-2 and rounded out the affair with a 10-2 victory.
The Pioneers (8-2) will return to Red Edmonds Field on Sunday (Feb. 23) for a doubleheader with Davis & Elkins, starting at 1 p.m.
The Tusculum bats showed out, totaling 27 hits, including 10 for extra bases, and 21 RBI. The offense recorded four doubles, two triples, four walks, and eight stolen bases on the day. A pair of homeruns were hit in each game, including a grand slam by Chloe Freischmidt, in game two.
Game 1: Tusculum 15, Cedarville 2 (5 innings)
Tusculum started out on fire and never relented in the day's opener versus Cedarville. Alexis Grampp launched two doubles, alongside batting three runners in, to head up the offense.
Anna Alloway led off the Pioneers' seven-run first inning with a walk. Grampp doubled down the right field line, moving her to third. Taylor Johnson drove in the leadoff hitter with a single through the left side. Johnson stole second to put two runners in scoring position. Grayson Brown drew a walk to load the bases for Freischmidt. She proceeded to single to right, scoring both Grampp and Johnson. Sammie West's single to the third baseman allowed Brown to cross home plate. West then stole second. Bree Whitson stepped to the plate and singled through the left side for her first career RBI, scoring Freischmidt. The Yellow Jackets had a pitching change with the starter recording no outs. West snuck by the catcher on a passed ball to collect another run in the inning. Whitson advanced on the play and scored on an Alloway single through the left side.
The Yellow Jackets made their way into the scoring column in the second inning. Arica Flaugher doubled to centerfield and advanced to third on a McKenna Smith groundout. Annie Rourke reached second after an error in left field, plating Flaugher. The same thing happened with Kylie Hertzler with a ball hit to right, scoring Rourke. Both runs were unearned.
Two homers in the third resulted in five runs for Tusculum. Brittney Franse singled up the middle and Alloway reached on a fielder's choice to put two-on for Grampp. She hit a rocket over the right field fence. Johnson was hit by the new pitcher for Cedarville and Brown cleared the basepath with a laser to left center.
The Pioneers net three more runs in their final opportunity of game one. West dropped a bunt single, stole second, and advanced to third on a throwing error. Whitson followed up by making it to first on an infield error. Kristen Gass pinch ran for Whitson. The next play was wild one, resulting in two runs. Gass stole second and West stole home. Gass advanced to third on the throw to the plate. When trying to throw out Gass, the third baseman misplayed it, allowing her to score an unearned run. Two batters later, Franse tripled to right center and was driven in by an Alloway single up the middle.
In the game, the Pioneers struck out and walked just once. At the plate, Tusculum recorded 16 hits, including three doubles, a triple, and two homers, along with 12 RBI. Ivee Richesin threw four innings, allowing no earned runs on four hits and two strikeouts. Ashley Scozzari came in to pitch the top of the fifth and struck out the final batter of the contest.
Game 2: Tusculum 10, Cedarville 2 (5 innings)
A seven-run second inning gave the Pioneers enough support to clinch a run-rule in the second game. Freischmidt's first career grand slam highlighted the offensive firepower of the doubleheader.
Leading off the Tusculum half of the first innings, Alloway sent a solo shot over the left field wall. Brown landed on first after a fielder's choice and Freischmidt doubled to left center to give West two runners in scoring position. She took advantage and cleared the bases with a three-bagger to right field.
Cedarville's Carrie Jespersen singled to right to start the second inning, followed by a sacrifice bunt by Hertzler. She was able to steal third and score on an infield single.
The Pioneers retaliated with seven runs. Tori West started the inning with a single to third base. An Alloway single advanced her to second. Grampp followed up with a single up the middle to plate West. Alloway and Grampp moved up 60 feet on a wild pitch. Johnson drew a walk to load the bases. Brown was patient and earned a walk to score a run and keep the bases full. Freischmidt seized the moment and skied a no-doubter down the left field line, firing up the Tusculum bench. Sammie West and Claire Crout singled back-to-back, forcing a pitching change by the Yellow Jackets. Crout and West executed a double-steal, plating the seventh run of the inning.
Cedarville looked to score at least two runs in the top of the fifth to extend the game, but produced just one. Sophia Hevel tripled to lead off and a groundout to second by one of the Lord twins enabled her to score.
After finishing out game one in relief, Scozzari earned the start. The junior saw three innings of action, allowing one run on four hits and three strikeouts. Cloee-Anna Merritt made her Red Edmonds Field debut, a two-inning showing featuring one run on one hit and one strikeout.