Seguin, Texas – The Transylvania softball team dropped two games in Day Two of their spring break trip in a doubleheader with the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor Crusaders on Monday evening at Ed Kruse Stadium on the campus of Texas Lutheran University.
Mary Hardin-Baylor held the Pioneers in check in Tuesday's opener with a 4-1 win before the Crusaders pulled out a 3-2 win in nine innings in the nightcap.
The Pioneers dropped to 3-3 while the Crusaders moved to 8-9 on the year.
Transylvania began the afternoon trying to crack the code of the Crusaders' pitching as Mary Hardin-Baylor starter Jacqueline Kay did not allow a Pioneer to reach base before the fifth inning. As the Pioneers sought an offensive answer, the Crusaders gradually pieced together a 4-0 lead over the first six innings.
The Crusaders plated a single run in the second inning off an RBI single for a 1-0 lead and tacked on two more runs in the fourth inning for a 3-0 advantage; Mary Hardin-Baylor's first three batters of the fourth inning reached base before Brittany Mumford threw out the lead baserunner on a fielder's choice to earn the first out. The Crusaders drove in two runs on the next at-bat to build the 3-0 lead before starting pitcher Kameron Bowling retired the final two batters of the inning.
Jordan Kramer worked the final three innings, allowing one run over that stretch as the Crusaders manufactured a 4-0 lead. Janelle Hynes ended Kay's no-hit bit in the fifth inning with a one-out bunt single but was left stranded.
The Pioneers mounted their most potent rally in the bottom of the seventh inning when Mumford led off with a base hit and Annie Schuck followed with a double into centerfield, moving Mumford to third. Hynes brought home Mumford on a sacrifice fly to cut UMHB's lead to 4-1, but the next two Pioneer batters were retired, bringing the game to a close.
Transylvania's offense arrived more expediently in game two as the Pioneers answered a first-inning score from the Crusaders with a tying run in the bottom of the second inning. Jordyn Powell delivered a one-out single down the left field line and Laurel Major drove in Powell from second base with a two-out hit into centerfield.
Game two starter Jessica Gunter pitched a gem, going toe-to-toe with Crusader starter Bayleigh Grogan as both players went all nine innings. Gunter allowed just one earned run the entire evening, striking out one and sprinkling eight hits. The sophomore retired the side in the second and fourth innings and stranded a combined seven baserunners the rest of the way.
The game entered extra innings and the Crusaders scored in the top half of the eighth when a one-out single brought home the international tiebreaker baserunner from third base. Though Mary Hardin-Baylor put two more runners aboard, Gunter stranded two runners and the Pioneers went to the bottom half of the inning down by a run.
Kramer began the inning at second base and Shelby Gambrell placed down a sacrifice bunt that moved Kramer to third. Cece Wittry then drove a high fly ball to right field, scoring Kramer for the tying run.
The game reached the ninth inning and a one-out triple by the Crusaders pushed the Lone Star team ahead, 3-2. Gunter got out of the inning once again by inducing the final two batters into groundouts and the Pioneers remained within striking distance.
Transylvania was unable to capitalize in the bottom of the ninth as the lead baserunner Hynes was caught stealing, and the first two Transylvania batters were retired, bringing a long contest to a sudden close.
Mary Hardin-Baylor outhit the Pioneers, 8 to 5 in the second game with five different Pioneers each registering a hit.
The Pioneers will take their weekly intermission on Tuesday before resuming play on Wednesday, March 13 against Southwestern (Tex.) University on the campus of Texas Lutheran University. The twin bill will begin at 6:00 p.m. Eastern time.
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