PORTSMOUTH, Ohio – Cumberland collected 30 hits over two games, but only grabbed one victory as the Bulldogs split a Mid-South Conference doubleheader versus Shawnee State, winning the first game 8-2 before dropping the second 10-9 at Boone Coleman Field.
Seniors Shawnee Kirk and Devon Jamerson and freshman Kassydi Montgomery each collected a team-high four hits in the two games, but all bats were clicking on the day, as every member in the lineup collected at least one hit in the opening game, and seven had at least one in game two.
The Bulldogs put up a five-spot in the opening inning of the day, using a pair of home runs to do the damage. After a leadoff walk from Montgomery and a single from Jamerson, junior Sydney Broderick made it 3-0 with her first homer of the season.
Jessica Roper reached base with a hard single immediately following and Emily Nicholson saw three pitches before lacing a deep shot to dead-center field which just cleared the wall to give CU the 5-0 advantage.
Shawnee State answered with a run in the bottom of the inning, manufacturing a run. With runners on first and second Holly Brabson singled up the middle for the score.
Junior outfielder Katelynn Stoll led off the fourth inning for Cumberland with a double that reached the left-center field wall. Montgomery followed with a single and Jamerson launched a double to the wall to make it 6-1 in favor of the Bulldogs.
The two teams traded runs in the fifth, Cumberland scoring on a double play with no outs that scored Sarah Murray. The Bears brought home a run on an RBI single from Abbey Barrett.
The Bulldogs scored three more in the fifth thanks to a pair of singles, a double and two free passes. Jamerson opened the stanza with a single, but two straight outs left her on third with two away. Nicholson singled home Jamerson for her fourth RBI of the game.
Murray reached base with a 10-pitch walk and Shawnee Kirk loaded the bases when she was hit by a pitch. Junior Kaleigh Pearce came up with the big hit one pitch later, lifting a double over the left fielder’s head to score a pair.
Starting pitcher Courtney Maynard allowed a single to lead off the bottom of the sixth, but retired the next three to preserve the six inning, run-rule victory. The Lancaster, Tenn., native allowed just a pair of runs in the six stanza complete game, striking out six.
In game two, Cumberland was held scoreless in the opening inning, but broke out in a big way in the second, batting around in the inning en route to seven runs on seven hits. CU reached base on six straight hits in the frame, including 2 RBI doubles from Stoll and Jamerson.
Roper capped the inning with a three-run no-doubt shot over the right field fence, giving Cumberland a 7-1 advantage.
Shawnee State answered with a haymaker punch of its own in the bottom of the frame, bringing four runs home. After an out on the first pitch, single and a walk marked the start of the inning. The next batter struck out, but Kelsey Jenkins knocked in one with an RBI.
Kirsti Yates followed with a three-run homer over the center field wall to chase starting Cumberland pitcher Caroline Curran. Curran finished an inning two-thirds, allowing five runs on five hits. After two, CU still hung on to a 7-5 lead.
The Bulldogs added another in the third when Stoll again hit a double to the wall, this time plating Murray, making it 8-5 in the Bulldogs’ favor.
The fourth proved to be the big inning for Shawnee State, as the Bears brought nine batters to the plate en route to a five-run inning. A walk and a single opened the inning, with an error allowing the leadoff hitter to come all the way around and scored.
Jackie Sauder made it 8-7 with another RBI single, leading CU coach Heather Stanfill to turn back to her game one pitcher, Maynard. The senior registered the first out of the inning, but allowed then allowed an RBI single from Yates to tie the game. Hannah Dittoe made it 10-8 with a two-RBI double three batters later.
CU cut the deficit in half in the sixth inning thanks to an RBI double from Roper, scoring Jamerson for the fourth time of the day. The Bulldogs opened the seventh with back-to-back singles but were unable to make any more headway, as the next three batters were retired.
Shawnee State coach Ralph Cole earned his 600th victory as the head coach for the Bears in the game two win.
Cumberland faces a quick turnaround, as the club is set for a Mid-South doubleheader on Monday versus Campbellsville at the CU softball field. Game one is set to begin at 1 p.m.