Lexington, Ky. – The Transylvania softball team exploded for a total of 22 runs and 23 combined hits in a doubleheader sweep of the Wittenberg University Tigers on Sunday afternoon at Hall Field.
Playing at home for the first time in 22 days, the Pioneers appeared instantly comfortable in their familiar settings as they doubled their win total at Hall Field in sweeping Wittenberg with a 12-1 victory in five innings in game one and a 10-5 come-from-behind victory in game two.
The Pioneers are now 8-6 on the season while Wittenberg drops to 2-14.
Wittenberg tacked on the first run of the day in Sunday's opener before the Pioneers reeled off 12 unanswered runs to win in dominant fashion. After the Tigers used a lead-off triple followed by an RBI groundout for their lone run, the Pioneers put up five runs in the bottom of the first to secure a 5-1 lead that they would build upon for the rest of the day.
In the bottom of the first, Brittany Mumford drove in Shelby Gambrell and Alyssa Nunn on a two-run single to put the Pioneers ahead, 2-1. After Meg Liter drew a walk, Annie Schuck smacked a double to score Mumford and Liter for a 4-1 advantage. Jessica Powell provided the final RBI of the inning on a groundout to score Schuck from third for a 5-1 lead after a frame of play.
After yielding the first-inning triple, Transylvania starter Kameron Bowling allowed just two hits over the final four innings to Wittenberg. The sophomore notched two strikeouts against one walk as she picked up her fourth win of the season in the complete-game win.
Transylvania enjoyed two more potent offensive innings courtesy of two towering home runs. Schuck collected her second double of the game in the bottom of the third inning and Janelle Hynes followed with a powerful drive over the left-field fence to make it a 7-1 lead after three.
The Pioneers delivered the final blow in the bottom of the fourth inning as they scored five runs, all coming on two-out scoring plays. With Nunn aboard at second base, Mumford took her turn going yard as she delivered a deep shot to centerfield for a 9-1 Transylvania lead.
The Pioneers continued to put baserunners aboard in the bottom of the fourth as Liter walked again, Sam Simons followed with a base hit, and Hynes was hit by a pitch. Laurel Major cleared the bases with a three-run triple to hand the Pioneers an 11-run lead.
Transylvania amassed 10 hits in game one, led by multi-hit performances by Nunn, Mumford, and Schuck; Mumford led the way with four RBI.
The second game of the day witnessed more extreme twists and turns in the scoring column than its predecessor as the Pioneers climbed ahead first, 3-0 in the bottom of the first. Mumford kept the theme of extra-base hits going with a two-run triple to score Gambrell and Nunn for a 2-0 lead. Liter grounded out to bring Mumford across the plate for a three-run lead.
Wittenberg made its most sizable charge of the day in the following inning with a six-hit inning as they knocked starter Jessica Gunter out of the game. A busy second inning for the Tigers translated into four hits as they took a 4-3 lead against Transylvania. The Tigers tacked on one more run in the top of the third against relief pitcher Jordan Kramer but a lead runner for Wittenberg was thrown out at home for the hindering second out, stifling the prospect of further increasing its lead.
The Pioneers swung back in the bottom of the third as they again made their move with two outs. Hynes reached first base on a fielder's choice and Cece Wittry and Simons each drew two-out walks. Nunn then drew a walk with bases loaded to cut the Tiger lead to 5-4. On the ensuing at-bat, Gambrell delivered a hard hit up the middle to bring pinch runner Becca Messing and Wittry across home plate for the go-ahead run and a 6-5 Transylvania lead.
Bowling re-entered the afternoon for her second appearance of the day and minimized Wittenberg's output; though the Tigers churned out 10 hits over the first three innings, the visitors would be held to four hits over the last four innings as Bowling racked up eight strikeouts, her second-highest output of the season.
Following the three-run outburst in the third, the Pioneers scored in every successive inning for the rest of the game, plating one run in the fourth, two more in the fifth, and one final run in the sixth inning.
Kramer earned the game-two win while Bowling claimed her second save of the season for the Pioneers. Schuck led Transylvania in game two with a 3-for-3 game at bat with one walk and an RBI. Hynes, Major, Gambrell, and Mumford joined Schuck with multi-hit games as the Pioneers totaled 13 hits in the second game. Gambrell drew three walks in the game-two win.
Transylvania is back in action on Tuesday, March 26 as the Pioneers welcome the Centre College Colonels to Lexington for an archrival doubleheader. First pitch between Transy and Centre is at 5:00 p.m. at Hall Field.
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