Lady Bulldog offense sputters in doubleheader split

Staff Reports • Dec 17, 2015 at 6:16 PM

The Cumberland softball team scored just a combined four runs on eight hits in a twin-bill split versus Freed-Hardeman on Tuesday at the CU softball field.

CU won the first game 2-1 in nine innings before falling 5-2 in the second.

The Bulldogs (21-10-1) and Lions remained scoreless for seven innings in the opening game, before trading runs in the eighth, taking advantage of the international tiebreaker rules, placing a runner on second base at the outset of every inning.

In the top of the eighth, Freed-Hardeman (14-13) used its first hitter to sacrifice to second, before a single from designated player Katie Sholl gave the Lions a one-run advantage. CU failed to move Sarah Murray over during the first plate appearance, however senior Devon Jamerson followed with a one-out single to even the score.

In the ninth, runner Kohnley Wade advanced to third on a wild pitch with no outs. Starting pitcher Courtney Maynard worked a popout to the next hitter. CU shortstop Kaleigh Pearce followed with a game-saving play, fielding a groundball in the hole and firing home to cut Wade off the plate and get the Bulldogs out of the inning unblemished.

Senior Emily Nicholson wasted no time in the bottom of the ninth, putting an end to the game with a double into left-center field. After failing on a sacrifice bunt attempt on the first pitch she saw, the White House native answered with a shot to the gap to plate Victoria Bennett and end game one.

Maynard was stellar in her 14th victory of the season, working nine innings, allowing just the one run in the eighth (unearned) and scattering six hits. The Lancaster native struck out three and did not walk a batter. The CU defense backed their starter with an error-free game.

It took exactly one inning in game two to match the final score from the first. After an RBI double from Sarah Elizabeth Cousar for the Lions in the top of the first, Cumberland took advantage of a pair of errors in the bottom of the frame.

Devon Jamerson reached on a fielding error to start the game, and moved to second on a Shawnee Kirk single. Following a groundout, Nicholson dropped a Texas-leaguer into left, which plated Jamerson before skating by the left fielder, allowing Kirk to score, as well.

After two hits in the opening inning, the CU bats all but disappeared, as the Bulldogs recorded just one hit in the final six innings. Lion pitchers Kamara Trice and Katie Clarke combined for the three-hitter. Clarke earned her first victory of the season, working the final four frames.

Freed-Hardeman retook the lead during a two-out rally in the third. With runners on first and second and two away, the Lions recorded four straight RBI singles to chase starting pitcher Caroline Curran.

Curran’s replacement, senior Jessica Lozano, worked the final 4.1 innings scoreless, scattering four hits and striking out one. Curran moved to 2-4 with the loss.

Cumberland’s third and final hit came on a single from Tessa Tomaselli with two away in the seventh. The Torrance, Calif., native was, in fact the only batter to reach base over the final five innings, also earning a walk to lead off the fifth.

Cumberland will return to action today in a Mid-South Conference bout on the road versus St. Catharine in Kentucky. The Bulldogs and Patriots are set to begin the twin bill at 1 p.m. CT.

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