Lexington, Ky. – The Transylvania softball team christened its newly renovated ballpark, Hall Field, with a pair of masterful victories Thursday evening against the Spalding University Golden Eagles.
Awaiting the opening of their ballpark for nearly a full year, the Pioneers wasted no time enjoying the comforts of their new field, which was certified playable this week.
In Game One, the Pioneers rocketed to an 8-0 victory over Spalding in six innings, and followed it up with a sizable 16-3 win in five innings to complete a delightful first day at their new digs in which they collected 23 hits over the two games.
The Pioneers improved to 22-9 on the season with four conference series remaining in their schedule. Transylvania is next scheduled to play on Saturday, April 22, which marks Senior Day for the Pioneers.
Stepping foot onto the grass of renovated Hall Field for the first time since last year's Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference tournament, the Pioneers appeared eager to enjoy the amenities of their new home in every way.
Junior pitcher Renae Morton got the start, and began denying the Eagles offensive opportunities from the get-go, eventually tallying four strikeouts and two hits allowed for the entire afternoon.
Meanwhile, Transylvania's bats heated up in the second inning as sophomore infielder Meg Liter delivered a sacrifice fly RBI to provide the Pioneers with a 1-0 lead. Transylvania gained a second run in the third inning on a sacrifice fly RBI from freshman designated player Sydney Motell for a 2-0 advantage.
The Pioneers put the game out of reach in the bottom of the fourth inning as they exploded for five runs and a 7-0 advantage. A two-out triple from sophomore outfielder Shelby Gambrell put the Pioneers ahead 6-0, and Motell added another RBI on a base hit to score Gambrell for a 7-0 lead.
With freshman pinch runner Kenzy Moore awaiting a hit in the bottom of the sixth and the Pioneers enjoying a 7-0 lead, Gambrell obliged with a double to center field to score Moore and wrap up Transylvania's first victory at new Hall Field.
Morton picked up the complete-game shutout victory for her 10th win of the season. Gambrell led the Pioneers with a 2-for-4 game, replete with a double, a triple, and four runs batted in.
The Pioneers' scoring abilities intensified in the second game of the day, pouncing upon the Eagles immediately in the bottom of the first inning. The first three hitters of the inning reached base for the Pioneers, and with one out, Liter smacked a double into center field to score sophomore infielders Brittany Mumford and Jessica Powell for an instant 3-0 lead.
Sophomore outfielder Shelbi Poehlein followed suit with an RBI double that scored Liter for a 4-0 lead. Transylvania tacked on one more run in the bottom of the first to surge ahead 5-0 after one inning.
The Pioneers followed up their first-inning outbreak with another seven runs in the following inning, capitalizing on three errors and four hits to take a 12-0 advantage.
Tayler Thompson picked up the win for the Pioneers, working three innings of two-run ball with a win well in-hand for the Pioneers. Meg Liter filled out the last two innings in relief and rang up three hitters along the way as Transylvania put the finishing touches upon two dominant games.
Liter was also potent from the plate, going 3-for-4 with a double and four runs batted in. Four others players in addition to Liter enjoyed multi-hit games in the nightcap.
Gambrell claimed two triples on the day, to bring her total to three for the season.
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