RIO GRANDE, Ohio – Senior starting pitcher Courtney Maynard threw a complete game, allowing just two hits and one run while striking out four as the Cumberland softball team split a doubleheader against Rio Grande to open Mid-South Conference Play at the Rio Softball Complex.
The Lancaster native threw three perfect innings, allowing both of her hits in the fourth while walking a batter in the fifth, before working a pair of clean frames in the sixth and seventh to earn her fourth victory on the season.
Cumberland opened the game with a run in the first inning, a feat the squad has accomplished in four of the last six games. Kassydi Montgomery opened the stanza with a walk and was moved to second on a sacrifice bunt from Devon Jamerson.
Sydney Broderick followed with a single to push Montgomery to third and Roper added an RBI single to left field to bring the lead runner home.
CU was scoreless for the next five innings, as the RedStorm brought the game even with a pair of hits in the fourth. The lone run came on a two-out RBI single from Ariel Roder, who roped a single up the middle to plate Cheyenne Hamaker.
The Bulldogs’ big inning came in the seventh when the club rallied to push three runs home. Montgomery again led the charge with a leadoff single, and Jamerson attempted to sacrifice. Instead, the senior reached when an errant throw sailed wide of the second baseman covering first.
The play left runners on first and third and, an out and a walk later, Emily Nicholson delivered with a single that skipped past the third baseman to score a pair. Sarah Murray followed with a single to move Nicholson to third and Shawnee Kirk brought home the third run of the inning with a sacrifice fly.
Cumberland run production all but disappeared in the second game, when the squad left six runners aboard and went 1-for-5 with runners in scoring position.
The Bulldogs did get another first inning run thanks to a two-out rally, culminating in an RBI single from Nicholson. Crystal Bryant got things started with a single and moved to second on a wild pitch. Following a walk to Roper, Nicholson punched a line drive back up the middle to score the first run of the game.
Rio Grande answered immediately with a run in the bottom of the inning, as Jenna Jones doubled to the right-center field fence to bring home one.
Roper brought home one of her own in the third inning, plating Jamerson who reached on an infield single. She then stole second, and moved to third on a fly out from Bryant. Roper lifted a fly ball to deep center and CU took a 2-1 advantage.
Again, the RedStorm answered in the same inning, knocking in a run on a groundout with a runner on third. The home team took the lead one inning later. With two on and no outs, senior Jessica Lozano came on to pitch for the Bulldogs.
Lozano struck out the first two batters she faced, but, with two away, Hamaker sent a single to left field, scoring both runners to give Rio Grande what would be the game winning RBIs.
CU brought the game within one in the sixth when Kirk tripled down the right field line to bring home Stoll, but could not get any closer, leaving a runner stranded in the seventh.
Senior Caroline Curran took the loss in the circle, her first of the season. Curran worked three innings, allowing five hits and for runs while striking out three. Lonzano pitched three innings in relief and did not surrender a run.
CU will be back in action today in Mid-South Conference play at Shawnee State. The Bulldogs and Bears will square off in a twin bill beginning at 9 a.m. CST.