MORRISTOWN, Tenn. — It was an afternoon of celebration for Walters State on Sunday and the Lady Senators did it the correct way, sweeping another doubleheader from Motlow State.
The Lady Senators scored all their runs in one inning in rolling to an 11-3 victory in the opener before coming from behind to win the second game, 9-7, on a two-run homer by Kallyn Newport in the bottom of the sixth.
Coach Larry Sauceman was honored between games for reaching the 900-win milestone earlier in the week and six Lady Senators sophomores were the stars of the post-game celebration.
But it was what happened on the field that will send Walters State into the TCCAA/NJCAA Region VII Tournament on a seven-game winning streak. The tourney begins on Sunday at Colunbia State however the Lady Senators will get a first-round bye and not play until Monday.
Sauceman's club will take a 32-17 record into the tourney and wrapped up Tennessee Community College Athletic Association play with a 22-9 mark to finish second behind Chattanooga State.
Motlow State could have taken the second spot by winning three of four on the weekend but instead will get in as the fourth seed after Walters State completed only its second four-game sweep of the season. The Lady Bucks are 16-13 in the conference and 22-22 overall.
The Lady Senators paraded 15 batters to the plate in the bottom of the third inning of the opening game highlighted by a grand slam by Lauren Brickey.
Motlow State scored six times in the third inning to grab a 7-2 lead in the nightcap. However, the home team chipped away at the lead and got the margin down to 7-6 heading to the bottom of the sixth.
Brickey walked to lead off the inning, moved to second on a wild pitch and tied the game on a double by Taylor McConnell. After the next batter struck out, Newport smashed a home run way up in the trees in left field to provide the wnning margin.
Sauceman was pleased that his team was able to complete the four-game sweep. "I didn't know if it was going to happen there at the end. But they battled and got the win.
"Newport stepped up there and hit the big home run and then Delilah came to the mound and got them out and there you go," he said.
The coach went on to say, "It's pretty nice that we're taking a pretty good winning streak into the tournament. Hopefully, we can go down there and get on fire and do something."
Malczewski came on in relief after the first two batters reached base in the seventh off winning pitcher Raylon Smith. She retired the first batter on a grounder to third but the runners moved to second and third on a throwing error.
Jesse Beasenburg was hit by a pitch to load the bases, but Malczewski struck out losing pitcher Jennifer Corbitt and then got pinch-hitter Annsley Kalamon to ground out to second to end the game.
Smith entered the game with nobody out in the third and gave up three runs. However, she was able to keep the Lady Bucks off the scoreboard in the next three innings while Walters State was coming from behind.
"She did a good job of holding them down in those innings," said Sauceman. Smith relieved Brickey who came within two outs of throwing a perfect game on Saturday. But she gave up back-to-back home runs to Haley Hinshaw and Sam King in Motlow's big third inning.
The Lady Senators rallied for three in the bottom of the frame as McConnell had an infield hit, Seagrave singled and Newport walked to load the sacks. Taylor Henson was hit by a pitch to force in one run and Sydney Fox's fielder's choice scored another. Sydney Dukes then rapped a base hit to make it 7-5.
Newport had a bunt single in the fifth, stole second and went to third as the catcher threw the ball into center field. She scored on a throwing error to get her team within a run and set the stage for the winning rally.
Newport, Dukes, McConnell and Seagrave got two hits apiece to account for all the Lady Senators' safeties. Morgan smith collected three hits for Motlow while Hinshaw, Skylar Rinehart and Kylie Thackerson all had two.
In the opening game, the Lady Bucks used hits by Madison Hopkins and King and a couple of Walters State errors to score a pair of unearned runs in the top of the first.
The Lady Senators left two runners on in the first and left the bases full in the second before finally breaking through. They had three batters hit by a pitch and received a walk to go along with seven hits to score all 11 of their runs.
It was all singles in the inning by Whitaker, Newport, Brickey, McConnell, Seagrave and Dukes before Brickey's slam off the top of the scoreboard.
After the first inning, Malczewski held the visitors in check until the fifth when they scored their final run and had the bases loaded with one out when Sauceman brought Brickey on in relief in trying to preserve the eight-run lead needed to end the game.
Brickey proceeded to fan two straight batters to end the contest.
Brickey was the only Walters State player with two safeties while losing pitcher King was the only player with two hits for the Lady Bucks.