MORRISTOWN, Tenn. — Whether or not Saturday's finale will light a fire under Walters State remains to be seen. Larry Sauceman certainly hopes so.
The Lady Senators did claim their weekend series against Volunteer State by winning three out of four, but WSCC followed up its 3-1 win on Saturday with a 6-4 loss to the Lady Pioneers at the Walters State Softball Complex.
The defeat snapped what had been a six-game winning streak for Walters State (18-12, 10-4 TCCAA) as the Lady Senators couldn't complete the four-game sweep.
"If you win three out of four on the weekend, you have to be pretty happy but I'm greedy when it comes to these. I like to win them all," Sauceman said.
The Lady Senators appeared destined to earn the sweep after taking the opener, especially after Keeley Quillen's timely hitting.
Quillen batted 2-for-3 in Walters State's Game 1 victory, first stepping up to the dish with one down in the bottom of the fourth. With Emily Whitaker on first, Quillen crushed a two-run bomb into the trees behind centerfield for a sudden 2-1 lead.
Sydney Fox advanced Jenica Brown to third with her double down the left-field line in the fifth inning, and Sydney Dukes scored Brown when she lined a deep infield single to second base for the final score.
Fox and Dukes both batted 2-for-3.
Alex McFarlin gave the Lady Pioneers (14-9, 8-6) a 1-0 lead in the top of the second when she clubbed a two-out solo home run to right, and the lead stood until Quillen's second at-bat 2 1/2 innings later.
Lauren Brickey allowed three hits and struck out three over four innings of work before Delilah Malczewski took the circle in the fifth, ending the game with her third strikeout after giving up just one hit.
That one hit off Malczewski came when Ali King laced a two-out fly ball to right. After the ball landed fair, defensive interference entitled King to advance to second base for a double. But King kept jogging to third where the Lady Senators easily tagged her, thus ending the inning after some confusion and discussion between the umpires.
McCoy Hensley led off the home half of the fifth with a ground-ball single and finished 1-for-2.
Volunteer State quickly chased Brickey in the series finale when King smacked a three-run homer to left four batters into the contest for a 3-0 lead.
King capped the Lady Pioneers' scoring with her RBI single up the middle in the sixth inning, just one frame after Tara Cates broke a 4-4 tie with a solo home run to center.
Cates earned the win in Game 2 as she relieved starter Maggie Savage during the second inning.
Walters State scored all of its runs against Savage in the second which Quillen led off with a double. Whitaker sent Quillen home with a base hit to right before scoring herself when Erin Foster reached on a throwing error. Olivia Wheeler then gave the Lady Senators a 4-3 lead with a two-run bomb to the trees behind left field.
But a double and single from Dukes and a bunt single from Brown was all Walters State could muster the rest of the game. Dukes hit 2-for-3 to lead WSCC.
"We're just trying to wake them up and make them better and make them understand you have to put a lot of effort into what you're doing. Otherwise it won't work," Sauceman said.
The Lady Senators are on the road each of the next two weekends starting with a trip to Roane State. Friday's doubleheader in Harriman is set for a 2 p.m. start with Saturday's twinbill starting at noon.