Cumberland used a walk-off winner from senior Shawnee Kirk in a game one 2-1 victory before exploding for 12 runs on 14 hits in game two en route to a 12-8 win and a two-game Mid-South Conference sweep over Shawnee State on Friday at the CU softball field.
With two outs in the final frame of game one in a 1-1 ballgame, Devon Jamerson delivered a double to the right-center field gap to bring Kirk to the plate. The Lakewood, Calif., native promptly delivered a single up the middle on the first pitch to bring home Jamerson and give the Bulldogs a 2-1 victory with the walk-off.
Shawnee State (25-20, 17-17 Mid-South) took a 1-0 advantage in the second inning following a leadoff single Hannah Dittoe. The Bears played small-ball from there, advancing Dittoe to third on a sacrifice bunt and a groundout. Tara Prater came through with a two-out RBI single, as SSU took the lead.
Cumberland (34-17-1, 20-14) was held scoreless through the sixth inning, when freshman Tessa Tomaselli came up with a much needed knock. With one away in the inning, the Torrance, Calif., native launched a missile to left-center which just cleared the fence, knotting the game at 1-1.
Senior starter Courtney Maynard (18-9) was dominant in the circle again for the Bulldogs. The Lancaster native went a complete seven innings, scattering eight hits and allowing just the one run. Maynard struck out three and walked just one.
Kirk ended the contest 3-for-3 with a double and an RBI. Jamerson added a pair of hits for CU and Tomaselli, Kaleigh Pearce and Crystal Bryant each added base knocks for the club.
Shawnee State again got the scoring underway in game two, plating a run in the second inning. Back-to-back singles from Hannah Foster and Prater were followed by an RBI double from Heidi Hall to make it 1-0 Bears.
It took Cumberland no time to respond, as the Bulldogs came back with a pair of runs in the bottom of the frame. Tomaselli continued her hot-hitting with a one-out triple and Pearce brought her home with an RBI single. After advancing to second on a wild pitch, senior Sarah Murray sent a double to the left-center gap and CU controlled the game, 2-1.
Sloppy play in the field led to a five-run inning in the third inning for the Bears, capitalizing on a miscommunication and an error in the inning. After an RBI double, a towering home run from Abbey Barrett made it 4-2 in favor of the visitors.
The Bears added two more runs in the inning following a shallow pop-up that no one called landed for a hit and a fielding error during an RBI single from Prater brought home two more runs, chasing CU starter Jessica Lozano and handing the Bears a 6-2 advantage.
Not to be outdone, the Bulldogs exploded for nine runs in the bottom of the inning to retake the lead, 11-6. Jamerson led off the inning with a single to center and Kirk followed with a double to the right-center gap.
Senior Emily Nicholson got the scoring started with a one-out RBI single and Tomaselli added another run with a single back through the box. Pearce loaded the bases with another single before freshman Crystal Bryant earned an RBI walk.
One out later, senior Victoria Bennett delivered a clutch, two-out, bases-clearing double to give the Bulldogs a two run advantage. Jamerson added another run with an RBI single, stole second and scored when Kirk lifted her fourth home run of the season over the center-field wall.
The Bears and Bulldogs traded runs in the fourth to make it 12-7. SSU came up with an RBI single from Dittoe, but Bryant responded with an RBI triple in the bottom of the frame, her first three-bagger of the season.
The Bears tacked on one run in the fifth, but senior reliever Caroline Curran shut the door on the visitors in the final two innings, moving to 7-4 on the season with the victory out of the bullpen.
CU will close out the regular season and Mid-South Conference play at the CU softball field on Saturday with a twin bill versus Rio Grande. First pitch is set for 10 a.m.