Kissimmee, Fla. – Fresh off a day of Wednesday rest, the Transylvania softball team returned to the diamond with a pair of surefire victories, defeating the Illinois College Lady Blues 7-2 and the College of St. Scholastica Saints 5-2 at the Rebel Spring Games Thursday.
Sophomore infielder Brittany Mumford led the Pioneers offensively, going 4-for-8 at the plate with two RBIs between both games. The Pioneers had nine hits each in both contests. Junior pitcher Renae Morton pitched a complete game victory against Illinois Wesleyan, and also worked 4.1 innings in relief in the afternoon game that followed. Morton totaled 16 strikeouts in the two wins.
Playing its first game in two days, the Transylvania softball team tacked on four runs early to take control of the game and lead from start to finish against Illinois College.
After a scoreless first inning, the Pioneers piled up their runs in the bottom of the second. Sophomore outfielder Shelbi Poehlein drew a one-out walk to activate the scoring onslaught. After sophomore infielder Meg Liter was hit by a pitch, the Pioneers' big inning was put in jeopardy after senior infielder Lauren Willett popped up for the second out of the inning.
But junior outfielder Destiny Garcia became the latest Pioneer to get hit by a pitch, loading the bases. Sophomore outfielder Shelby Gambrell took full advantage with the bases loaded, smacking an infield single to the left side that drove in two runners. An additional error on the play scored all three baserunners as Gambrell moved ahead to second base.
Sophomore catcher Janelle Hynes was the next batter to reach base on a second consecutive error by Illinois College, allowing Gambrell to tab the fourth and final run of the second inning.
Illinois College answered back with two runs in the fourth inning to cut Transylvania's lead in half, but the Pioneers had another two-run answer in the fifth inning. An RBI single from sophomore pitcher Jenna Stiles and a sacrifice bunt RBI from Liter drove in two runners for a 6-2 Transylvania lead.
The Pioneers collected nine hits in the game, led by two each from Gambrell, senior infielder Shelby Bailey, and Mumford, who collected the final RBI of the contest in the seventh inning.
Morton pitched another complete game, notching nine strikeouts against two walks in the win.
The Pioneers belted another nine hits in their second game of the day against the College of St. Scholastica Saints to claim a 5-2 victory.
As they did in the first game, the Pioneers shifted their offense into high gear early, scoring one run in the first inning, and two more runs in the second inning to take a 3-0 lead after two.
Bailey delivered the first RBI of the game, driving in Mumford with a double from second base. Back to back sacrifice fly RBIs from sophomore catcher Jessica Powell and freshman infielder Janette Hynes scored Poehlein and Liter to make the score 3-0 in favor of the Pioneers.
The Saints mustered a comeback in the bottom of the third, collecting two runs on a two-run single from Maggie Schley, but the Pioneers denied St. Scholastica the potential tying run.
Morton checked in during the bottom of the third in relief of starting pitcher, sophomore Jordan Kramer and held the Saints scoreless for the rest of the afternoon, tallying seven strikeouts over the final 4.1 innings. Kramer and Morton would team up to limit the Saints to just two hits and zero walks in the seven-inning effort.
The Pioneers gathered two more insurance runs in the top of the seventh inning as Mumford and Stiles each smacked RBI doubles, registering the final 5-2 score.
Mumford and Poehlein each went 2-for-4 in the second game of the day for Transylvania, and four different players had doubles. The Pioneers grabbed four stolen bases in the victory.
The Pioneers will be in action again on Friday, facing Case Western Reserve at 9:00 a.m., and Mt. St. Mary at 11:15 a.m. The Pioneers are now 7-1 for the week in Florida, and 8-4 overall.
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