COLUMBIA, Ky. — Cumberland fell victim to the walk-off home run Thursday evening en route to a doubleheader sweep at Lindsey Wilson.
The Bulldogs dropped game one, 7-3, and came up just short of a thrilling comeback in game two, an 11-10 defeat in Mid-South Conference softball.
The Blue Raiders and Bulldogs traded leads in every half inning from the fifth frame to the conclusion of the wild contest in the back end of the twin bill.
Trailing 3-2 headed into the bottom of the fifth, CU surrendered three runs on a pair of singles and a bases loaded walk. The lead was short-lived for the Blue Raiders, as the Bulldogs responded with a five run sixth to take their first lead of the contest.
After a pair of groundouts to open the inning, the Blue Raiders made the first of two crucial errors allowing freshman Tessa Tomaselli to reach. Senior Sarah Murray followed with a single and freshman Katelyn Nowakowski loaded the bases with a walk.
Senior Devon Jamerson made it 6-3 with an RBI single up the middle and Shawnee Kirk doubled off the center field wall to cut the deficit to one. Jessica Roper gave CU the lead on a hard-hit liner, which was misplayed by the left fielder, error number two of the inning.
Lindsey Wilson returned the favor in the bottom of the sixth with a two-out rally of their own. Following two groundouts, Amanda Trampe doubled, Bailey Mize hit an RBI single and Abbi Goedde hit a home run down the left field line. In the blink of an eye, LWC was back on top, 9-7.
The Bulldogs would refuse to lay down in the seventh however, answering with three more runs to again retake the lead. A pair of fielding errors and a groundout put Tomaselli and Murray on second and third with one away and a wild pitch allowed Tomaselli to scamper home.
A groundout put the game on the line with Kirk coming to the plate needing to knock in her fifth run of the contest to draw the score even. The Lakewood, Calif., native answered the call, flicking a single just over the glove of a leaping shortstop.
Two batters later, with the bases loaded, Sydney Broderick hit a ground ball to the third baseman which should have marked the final out of the inning. Instead, the ball was dropped at first base and Cumberland took a 10-9 lead.
Jordan Hood singled for the Blue Raiders to open the bottom of the seventh, but Cumberland managed a pair of outs without letting the leadoff batter advance past second. All of that meant nothing when Madison Scott delivered the fatal blow, a towering shot over the left field wall, bringing the game to its end.
Senior Courtney Maynard took the loss in the game, working just the final inning. Hood, the starting pitcher for LWC, earned the victory after being replaced in the fifth, but returning to close the game in the seventh.
Cumberland jumped on top in the opening frame of game one thanks to a pair of singles. Following a leadoff walk to Jamerson and a sacrifice bunt from Kirk, Roper notched an infield single to the shortstop. An errant throw on that play sent Jamerson to the plate and Roper to second. Broderick followed with a two-out RBI single to give CU a 2-0 advantage.
After a scoreless first inning, Lindsey Wilson cut the lead in half on a one-out single from Goedde followed by an RBI double from Travatia Bowden. Bowden finished 2-for-4 with three RBIs on the day.
The Blue Raiders brought home three more runs in the third to take a 4-2 lead. With two away in the inning and the bases loaded, Goedde knocked in a run when she was hit by a pitch and Bowden added a two-RBI single one pitch later.
After four straight scoreless innings, senior Emily Nicholson took matters into her own hands, leading off the top of the sixth with a no-doubt shot over the left field wall which cut the deficit to one. The comeback would be short-lived however, as LWC responded with a three-run bottom of the frame.
Back-to-back singles led off the frame and a walk to Trampe loaded the bases for Mize. Mize single through the right side to plate two more, and Goedde added an RBI single to make it 7-3.
The Bulldogs managed a pair of singles in the seventh, but could not muster a run, as LWC starter Casey Bryan earned her 15th win on the season.
Cumberland starter Maynard went all seven innings in the circle, allowing earned seven runs on 10 hits. The Lancaster native moved to 15-6 on the season in the defeat.
Lindsey Wilson started game two in nearly the same fashion game one ended, with a three run frame in the first. The runs came on one swing of the bat, a three-run shot by Trampe which chased Cumberland starter Caroline Curran after just one inning.
The two squads were both blanked over the next three innings until CU finally got on the board with a pair in the fifth. Nowakowski got things started with a double to the left-center field gap.
Jamerson added a single through the left side, and Kirk blasted a double to the wall to plate both runners, closing the gap to a 3-2 deficit.
As they had seemingly all day, the Blue Raiders again responded. A walk and a single started the inning and, one out later, Mize again came up with an RBI single. Two batters later, with the bases loaded, starting pitcher Jordan Hood helped her own cause, drawing an RBI walk. Ashley Evans made it a four-run lead with a single a batter later.
Cumberland will enjoy the weekend off before returning to Mid-South Conference action on Tuesday with a doubleheader at Campbellsville. The twin bill will mark the third and fourth games of an eight-game road stretch for the Bulldogs. First pitch is set for 1 p.m. CT.