Cumberland senior Victoria Bennett lifted a single to left-center to knock in the game-winning run in the bottom of the ninth in a 6-5 victory in game one, and the Bulldogs scored nine runs in the opening frame of game two en route to a 16-0 win over Tennessee Temple on Tuesday at the CU softball field.
Cumberland scored three runs in the final inning of game one to erase a two-run deficit after a pair of errors led to two Crusader runs in the top of the stanza.
With pinch runner Jessica Lozano on second in accordance with the international extra-innings rule, an error left Lozano on third and Sarah Murray on second. Freshman Tessa Tomaselli delivered the game-tying single, and Devon Jamerson followed with a single of her own to put runners on first and second.
Senior Shawnee Kirk struck out in the following at-bat, but reached first on a wild pitch, loading the bases for Bennett. The Smithville native delivered a pop-up that fell between the shortstop and left fielder for the RBI single.
Senior starting pitcher Courtney Maynard (15-5) earned the victory, going the full nine innings for the complete-game win. The Lancaster native allowed five runs (none earned, striking out six while walking a pair. From the end of the second inning to the start of the seventh, Maynard retired 14 straight hitters.
Junior Kaleigh Pearce delivered a two-out, two-RBI single in the fourth inning to score Katelyn Nowakowski and Sarah Murray to give the Bulldogs a 2-0 advantage.
A pair of errors in the seventh allowed Tennessee Temple to climb back into the game. A fielder’s choice, combined with an error, plated a pair of runs on the same play to draw the score even.
After a scoreless bottom of the seventh, the teams traded runs in the eighth -- Cumberland’s coming on an RBI single to score Jamerson, to set up the final inning fireworks.
Game two began in a flurry as Cumberland took the momentum gained in the previous win and turned the bottom of the first into a scoring frenzy. After a leadoff groundout, the next 11 batters to step in the box reached base en route to a nine-run inning.
Roper, Pearce, Tomaselli and Kirk each notched an RBI single and Jamerson added a two-RBI double. Bennett recorded an RBI on a fielder’s choice bunt, and a fielding error and a fielding error allowed two more runs to scamper home.
Cumberland piled on five more runs in the second, extending the lead to 14-0. Pearce opened the inning with a double and, following a walk to Tomaselli, Murray singled the leadoff batter home. Jamerson followed with her second double of the game, plating two more. With one away in the inning, senior Emily Nicholson added a two-RBI single to left center to ensure the rout was on.
Meanwhile, senior pitcher Caroline Curran was cruising in the circle, scattering four hits over the first three innings in the victory. With the game well in hand, Lozano replaced Curran during the final two frames, allowing three hits and no runs. Each pitcher recorded a strikeout.
CU added two more runs in the third inning to bring the scoring to a close. After a leadoff single from Tomaselli and a pair of pop outs, Jamerson delivered her third hit of the game, which was followed by an RBI single from Kirk. Jamerson scored two batters later when Nicholson reached on an error.
Lozano worked out a bases-loaded, one-out jam in the fifth inning to ensure the shutout and bring the game to an early, run-rule conclusion. With the win, the Bulldogs have taken seven straight games heading into an eight-game road stretch.
The road trip will begin Thursday as the squad travels to Lindsey Wilson for a Mid-South Conference matchup versus the league’s first-place team. The first pitch of the twin bill is set for 3 p.m.