MORRISTOWN, Tenn. — Walters State took sole possession of second place in the Tennessee Community College Athletic Association softball race by sweeping Volunteer State Friday afternoon.
The Lady Senators won the opening game in literally walkoff fashion, getting four walks to plate the winning run in the seventh for a 10-9 triumph after blowing a 9-2 lead.
It was no contest in the second game as Walters State racked up four in the first inning and went on to a 10-1 triumph.
With the sweep Coach Larry Sauceman's club ran its winning streak to five games and is now 17-11 for the season and 9-3 in the conference. The Lady Pioneers fell to 13-8 overall and is now 7-5 in the league.
"That was two huge wins for us after going in tied for second in the conference," said Sauceman. "We let them back in that first game. Just trying to get the girls to understand how to do things is hard sometimes."
He added, "We hit the ball pretty well all day. (Lauren) Brickey did a good job in relief in the first game and (Delilah) Malczewski pitched well in both games except for the one inning. We've got a couple of pitchers out right now and those two are having to carry the load."
In the second game, the Lady Senators rapped out five hits in the first inning including consecutive doubles by Sydney Fox, Sydney Dukes and Emily Whitaker. Whitaker singled in two more runs in the second and Keeley Quillen added a run-scoring single.
Volunteer State never got anything going as Malczewski allowed only three singles in the five-inning contest. Dukes, Whitaker and Quillen all had two hits in the victory.
It looked as if the home team was headed for a run-rule win in the opener as they scored six times in the first to wipe out a 1-0 deficit. Brickey smacked a long two-run homer to left and Dukes and Whitaker had two-run doubles in the first.
Walters State added three in the second and took a 9-2 lead to the fifth inning. The Lady Pioneers had only two hits at that point but collected eight and tied the score. Brickey relieved and got the final two outs and then allowed a single in each of the final two frames while keeping the visitors off the scoreboard.
Losing pitcher Peyton McLeod, who had shut the Lady Senators out since the second, walked the first two batters in the seventh and Tara Cates, who was pulled from the mound in the early game assault, returned to the mound. She recorded a strike out and a force out.
However, Emma Seagrave drew another walk to load the bases again and Whitaker walked to force in the winning marker.
Dukes was the only Lady Senator with two hits. Emilee Hanlon and Hannah Malar finished with three apiece for Vol State.