Seguin, Texas – The No. 24 Transylvania softball team secured its first doubleheader sweep of its Texas spring break trip with a pair of victories over the Schreiner University Mountaineers on Thursday afternoon at Ed Kruse Stadium on the campus of Texas Lutheran University.
The Pioneers leaned upon Kameron Bowling in game one as the sophomore dished nine strikeouts for her second straight shutout in a 1-0 win before the Pioneers erupted for a six-run fifth inning in game two to vault past Schreiner to the tune of a 6-2 score.
Playing in their fourth Texas doubleheader of the week at Texas Lutheran, the Pioneers moved to 6-4 on the season with the sweep while Schreiner fell to 4-14 overall.
As was the case the evening before, Bowling entered the circle with the Pioneers embroiled in a defensive battle with their opponent. Schreiner led off the day with a triple against Bowling but it would represent only one of three hits in the first game for the Mountaineers as Bowling began shutting down Schreiner's hitting order.
The Pioneers discovered their fair share of hits in the Thursday opener but could not find the go-ahead run until late in the contest. Schreiner threatened in the top of the sixth inning as it drew three walks but a lead runner was thrown out at third base and Bowling used another strikeout and pop fly to get out of the inning with a tie score.
In the bottom of the inning, Brittany Mumford led off with a ground-rule double into left centerfield and Annie Schuck dropped a base hit into centerfield to put runners on the corners with no one out. Meg Liter provided the key play with a sacrifice fly RBI towards right field, allowing Mumford to tag up and score for a 1-0 Pioneer lead.
The lone run would be sufficient for the Pioneers as Bowling retired the side in the top of the seventh to complete her second straight complete-game shutout in as many days as she posted a season-high in strikeouts to improve her record to 3-2. Six different Pioneers registered one hit apiece in the game one victory.
Game two took on a similar tone early as the Pioneers were held scoreless and hitless through the first four innings. Transylvania starting pitcher Jessica Gunter kept the Pioneers close as she matched Bowling in going the distance on Thursday with a five-strikeout performance against seven hits allowed and two walks issued.
Schreiner broke the tie in the top of the fourth inning with a promising two-out RBI double for the Texans to go up, 1-0 on Transylvania. The Pioneers would issue their response one inning later.
The game took a swift change in the Pioneers' favor in the sixth inning with a maelstrom of hits; Laurel Major led off the inning with a single and Jordyn Powell followed with a sacrifice bunt to move pinch runner Cece Wittry to second base.
Jessica Powell provided the tying run on the next at-bat as she drove home Wittry with an RBI double deep into left field to square up the score at 1-1. With the bats beginning to rumble, Mumford delivered a single into right field to move pinch runner Taylor Stamps to third base. After Mumford stole second base to put two runners in scoring position, Shelby Gambrell made her mark with a two-run single into left to hand the Pioneers a 3-1 lead.
Schreiner successfully retired Alyssa Nunn for the second out of the inning before the Pioneers swung back with three more consecutive hits, including an exclamation point on the afternoon.
With two down, Sam Simons came through with a clutch hit to centerfield that scored Gambrell for a 4-1 lead. Liter then closed the door on the afternoon with her first home run of the season, a shot that soared over the left field fence to deliver a 6-1 advantage for the Pioneers.
Schreiner pulled one run back in the top of the sixth inning but Gunter prevented any rallies by the Mountaineers from surfacing as she marched to her third win of the season.
The Pioneers and Mountaineers each compiled seven hits in game two but the Pioneers' all came in one potent surge in the sixth inning to pull away instantly to victory.
Nunn led the Pioneers with two of the Pioneers' four walks in game two while Mumford, Gambrell, and Janelle Hynes produced hits in both games of Thursday's doubleheader.
Transylvania returns to play for its final Texas game of the week against the host team, the Texas Lutheran University Bulldogs tomorrow at 1:00 p.m. Eastern in a doubleheader at Ed Kruse Stadium.
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