“The weather got colder and so did our bats,” commented Lady Cougars coach Katie Willingham. “We didn’t want big hits, just good, solid contact. I felt we accomplished that, but our defense let us down and cost us two runs. We can’t change the past, but hopefully we can learn from it.”
Torrea Talton doubled in the bottom of the first inning and later scored on a groundout by Hannah Harris as the home team started game one with a 1-0 lead.
The Lady Cougars came back in the top of the second when Maura Ditto and Ashley Swaney drew a free pass each and moved up a base on a nice sacrifice bunt by Emily Huston. Both crossed home on a single from Paige Mayer and Cleveland State took a 2-1 lead.
A Lady Cougars’ miscue set up RBI hits from Ashley Robinson and Savannah Harper to help the Lady Parsons go up 3-2 in the bottom of the second. Two more errors and a stolen base helped the Lady Parsons extend their lead to 4-2 in the fifth.
A solo home run from Amber Covington in the top of the sixth drew the Lady Cougars a run closer, but the rally would end there and the home team hung on to take game one. Whitney Sharp got the win for Snead State while Ida Watson suffered the loss for Cleveland State. Covington, Mayer and Leslie Still had the only three Cleveland State hits in game one.
The Lady Parsons repeated their winning formula in the second game, starting almost the same as they had game one with a double from Talton and an RBI double by Harris for a 1-0 lead.
Huston and Meghan Allen contributed a single each in the top of the second frame and Amber Swaney checked in with an RBI single to tie the game for the Lady Cougars at 1-1.
The Lady Parsons took the lead for good an inning later when Harris blasted a solo homer. Snead then added an insurance run in the sixth after Harris doubled and scored on a single from Robinson.
Megan Honea got the win in the circle for Snead State while Kelsey Capella took the loss for Cleveland State (1-7). Allen had two of the four Cleveland State hits while Huston and Amber Swaney collected one each.
“We had six strikeouts offensively and our defense could have been sharper,” said Willingham. “We have to come out ready and focused this weekend against Roane, because you can’t take anyone lightly in our conference. We have had a hard time bouncing back from a rough couple of weeks and now is the time we need to step it up.”
The Lady Cougars will travel to Harriman and Roane State Friday and Saturday for four Region VII conference games.