GREENEVILLE, Tenn. --- The Tusculum University softball team split the day with Limestone, taking game one 7-1 before dropping the nightcap by a 10-4 margin.
The Pioneers (13-3) open their conference schedule on Thursday (March 5) by battling the hometown Cavaliers in Wise, Virginia. First pitch is scheduled for 2 p.m.
Game 1: Tusculum 7, Limestone 1
Five Pioneers recorded at least one RBI, led by three off the bat of Chloe Freischmidt. The solid pitching duo of Ivee Richesin and Delilah Malczewski relented one earned run on eight hits and three strikeouts. Richesin collected her sixth win of the season, while Malczewski recorded her second save.
Two big innings powered the Tusculum offense to victory by way of a four-run third frame and three-run sixth.
Alexis Grampp got the ball rolling with a double to right center, followed by back-to-back Taylor Johnson and Grayson Brown walks to load the bases. Freischmidt stepped to the plate and belted a double to right center, scoring Johnson and Grampp. Sammie West hit a sacrifice fly to left, allowing Brown to come home. Bree Whitson notched a single through the left side, bringing in the sophomore catcher.
In the sixth inning, Brittney Franse struck out to lead off, but reached on a wild pitch. Tori West made the Saints pay by dropping a double into left center, giving Franse enough time to scamper and score. Grampp drew a walk to put two on base. Brown singled to right field, advancing to second on an error by the Limestone first baseman. West crossed home and Grampp landed at third. Freischmidt beat out an infield single, meanwhile Grampp scored the Pioneers' seventh run of the contest.
Limestone started with a pair of singles and a hit batter to load up the bases in the seventh inning. Eryn Butler launched a sacrifice fly to right field to put the Saints on the board with their only run of the game.
Game 2: Limestone 10, Tusculum 4
Freischmidt drove in all four runs for the Pioneers in game two. Tusculum had plenty of chances to score during the contest with 12 hits, but left 11 runners on the bags. The Black and Orange also collected the first runs of the game, but a five-run frame by Limestone was more than the Pioneers could overcome.
Singles by Grampp and Johnson put a pair on for Freischmidt, who proceeded to send a double to centerfield.
The Saints responded in the third inning in overwhelming fashion. Chloe Thomas singled down the left field line and advanced to second on a Ruthie Jackson sacrifice bunt. Ashley Parnell lined a double to center, scoring Thomas. Kat Tate reached base after the umpires ruled catcher's interference. Both the base runners advanced two bags on a Butler single down the line. Jordan Howe cleared the field with a homer down the left field line.
Tusculum's catcher tacked on a pair of runs with a two-run shot over the left field wall to round out the Pioneers' scoring.
Limestone scored two more runs in the fourth and three in the seventh to put the game out of reach, finalizing the Saints' 10-4 win.
Cloee-Anna Merritt made her second appearance at home in relief of Madison Michael and Ashley Scozzari. The transfer pitched four innings of six-hit ball, allowing just one earned run alongside a pair of strikeouts.