Senior starting pitcher Courtney Maynard threw a four-hit shutout and senior Jessica Lozano added a complete game, allowing just five hits and a run as the Cumberland softball team completed a two-game sweep of Bryan on Tuesday at the CU softball field.
Maynard did not allow a run to cross the plate, striking out four and walking none in the 9-0 win, which ended in five innings because of the run rule. The Lancaster native moved to 6-1 on the season, improving earned run average to a team-best 1.88.
Lozano was nearly as dazzling in game two, striking out four and walking just one while allowing an unearned run in the final inning of a 3-1 win.
The Bulldogs (11-3), as they have nearly all season long, began with a bang, bringing home five runs in the opening inning. Freshman Kassydi Montgomery opened the first with a single down the left field line and, two pitches later, swiped second base.
Senior Devon Jamerson followed with an RBI double that landed at the base of the left-center field wall to put Cumberland ahead, 1-0. After an out and a Jessica Roper single, a throwing error from the third baseman brought home Jamerson and made it 2-0. Sarah Murray added an RBI single to plate Roper, and she and Nicholson scored two batters later as Kaleigh Pearce ripped a two-out, two-RBI single, pushing the lead to 5-0.
After batting around in the first, Montgomery lead off the second inning with another first-pitch single, and Jamerson notched her second hit of the game with an infield single. A fielding error loaded the bases for Roper, who made it 6-0 on a fielder’s choice groundout. Nicholson added a sacrifice fly in the inning to make it 7-0.
The Bulldogs went scoreless in the third, but extended the lead to run-rule capacity in the fourth. Sydney Broderick lifted her first hit of the game to right field with one away, and Roper followed with a double. Murray made the score 9-0 with a one-out single to left-center field.
A clean frame in the fifth from Maynard brought the game to a close in the right-hander’s seventh complete game and second shutout of the season.
The Bulldogs’ bats fell asleep in the second game, as the club collected just six hits, but took advantage of six free passes to score enough in Lozano’s solid outing.
CU manufactured a pair of runs in the second, taking advantage of an error from the Lions. Roper advanced to first to lead off the inning thanks to a fielding error at second base, and moved to second on a Nicholson groundout.
Murray made it first and third with an infield single and moved to second with a stolen base. Shawnee Kirk brought home the first run with a sacrifice fly, and Pearce added a two-out RBI single on a pop fly which fell just beyond the outstretched arms of the shortstop.
Two hits and a pair of walks made it 3-0 in the fourth inning. Roper led off the stanza with a free pass and, acting as the flex player in the game, Lozano came on to pinch run for the designated player. Nicholson followed with a single and Kirk singled as well to load the bases. Pearce worked a nine pitch, RBI walk to bring home CU’s final run of the game.
Bryan made it interesting in the final inning, after a fielding error and a single left runners on first and second. In her first at bat of the season, pinch hitter Katie Burnett lifted a double to the left-center field wall to score a run.
On the same play, Rebecca James, who began the sequence on first base attempted to move first to third. Kirk denied that privilege with a frozen rope of a throw to Montgomery at third who calmly applied the tag for out number two. Lozano put it away one batter later, inducing a fly ball to center field.
Cumberland will now entertains its longest break throughout the rest of the schedule, an eight-day layoff before taking the field again. The Bulldogs will square off in a Mid-South Conference battle with Campbellsville, a game postponed from Monday. Game time of the twin bill is set for 1 p.m.