Pioneers rally to sweep Bobcats

Box score

GREENEVILLE, Tenn. --- Tusculum College senior Erin Searcy (Coolidge, Ga.) tossed her second straight no-hitter, and the Pioneers scored six unanswered runs in the second game of a doubleheader with Lees-McRae College to sweep the Bobcats in non-conference softball action on Wednesday afternoon.

Tusculum (10-4) posted a total of 13 hits in the twin-bill, including 10 base knocks in the night cap, while holding Lees-McRae (6-8) to one run on four hits. The Pioneers opened the doubleheader with a 1-0 win, which was highlighted by Searcy's second consecutive no-hitter, before plating five runs in the sixth inning of game two en route to a 6-1 victory.

Kierstie Moon (Oxford, Ga.), Paige Coleman (Thomasville, N.C.), Kim Coley (Marion, N.C.), and Anna Carter (Hurdle Mills, N.C.) each tallied a hit on the day, as Moon scored her seventh run of the season. Laurel Gregg (Mars Hill, N.C.) pitched well enough to win in game one, allowing one run on three hits and striking out three over six innings. Magen West (Whitney, Texas) got the nod in game two, allowing five earned runs and striking out two in six frames of work.

Ashley Burke (North Augusta, S.C.) paced the Pioneers with a 4-for-6 day at the plate, posting a pair of 2-for-3 performances while driving in a team-high three runs. Taylor MacDonald (Scarborough, Ontario, Canada) chipped in two hits, including a triple, while Lindsey Umberger (Madison, Wis.) posted a 3-for-4 day with three runs scored to go along with two triples and an RBI.

Searcy posted a dominating performance in game one, surrendering just two walks and striking out eight batters en route to her second no-hitter of the season. Elizabeth Johnson (Greenville, Wis.) followed with a solid performance in the night-cap, allowing one unearned run on four hits in seven innings of work.

Game One: Tusculum 1, Lees-McRae 0 (Box Score)

The opener remained scoreless until the bottom of the third, when Burke laced a double down the left field line, scoring Umberger from first to tally the eventual deciding run. Searcy took control from there, allowing just one base runner past first base while retiring the final eight batters of the game to close out the no-hitter.

Game Two: Tusculum 6, Lees-McRae 1 (Box Score)

Lees-McRae struck first in game two, plating a run in the top of the first inning when Moon drew a leadoff walk, stole third after Karli Robb (Hayes, Va.) was hit by a pitch, and scored on a throwing error by the Tusculum catcher to give the Bobcats an early 1-0 lead.

Tusculum answered right back in the bottom of the frame, evening the score at 1-1 when Umberger tripled down the right field line and scored on an RBI single by Burke. The score would stay knotted at 1-1 until the bottom of the sixth, when MacDonald laced a leadoff single and scored on Umberger's second triple of the game to score the deciding run and give TC a 2-1 advantage.

The Pioneers plated four additional runs in the inning, highlighted by a two-run double by Ashley Bagley (Cornelia, Ga.) to equal the final margin of 6-1. Lees-McRae would threaten in the seventh, receiving a leadoff single by Carter before Johnson shut the door, recording back-to-back strikeouts and a game-ending force out at second to close out the victory.

Lees-McRae returns to the diamond on Sunday when the Bobcats travel to Mars Hill, N.C. to take on Mars Hill College in a non-conference doubleheader. First pitch is slated for 2 p.m.

- LMC -