After sweeping a pair of TCCAA Region VII Conference games from the Lady Pioneers Saturday, the Lady Cougars brought their flaming hot bats into Sunday’s twin bill and overwhelmed their guests by sweeping two more games and the series by a final score of 3-2 in game one and 11-4 in the second game.
“I am so proud of these girls, I would never have dreamed of a 10 game win streak a month ago, but here we are and I couldn’t be happier,” said a very happy Lady Cougars coach Katie Willingham. “Ida and Kelsey pitched great all weekend, they kept a good-hitting team off balance and our bats came alive. We seemed to be able to come up with the big hit every time we needed it. Hopefully we can ride this momentum all the way to the tournament and then make some noise.”
The Lady Pioneers struck first in the first game of the afternoon as Taylor Gullett led off the top of the third inning with a triple and scored on a single from Megan Dattilo for a 1-0 lead.
The Lady Cougars got the run back in their half of the fourth and added one to take the lead when Perry Hindi and Hannah Powell reached on singles, moved up a base on a sacrifice by Tori Roberts and scored on a two-run single from Ashley Swaney.
Volunteer State scratched out the tying run in the top of the sixth as Gullett doubled to knot the game at 2-2.
The game didn’t stay tied long. Powell untied it with one mighty swing in the bottom of the sixth, smacking a mammoth homer over the left-field fence to give the Lady Cougars a 3-2 lead.
That was all the run support starter Ida Watson needed. Watson got three quick outs in the top of the seventh to secure the win. Watson twirled seven strong innings to pick up the win, scattering only five hits along the way. Lauren Woodard suffered the loss for the Lady Pioneers.
The Lady Cougars struck first in game two with a pair of runs in the second inning. Jennifer Kern knocked in a run with a sacrifice fly and Leslie Nunnelly added another with a single for a quick 2-0 lead.
The home team put the game out of reach an inning later exploding in a big way. When the dust settled on the third inning, the Lady Cougars had sent 12 batters to the plate with nine circling the bases and nine collecting hits. Three hits and a Volunteer State miscue plated a run and Nunnelly added two more with a double. Sara O’Rear singled in a run and Emily Huston doubled in two more while Perry Hindi put the exclamation point on the inning with a two-run homer over the center-field fence to give her team an 11-0 lead.
The Lady Pioneers made some noise in the top of the fifth, getting the zero off their side of the scoreboard. Sydney Shoulders connected for a grand slam, but it was too little, too late, as the Lady Cougars finished strong to complete the sweep.
Kelsey Haley went the distance to pick up the win for Cleveland State (17-23, 12-16) while Tasia Lewis suffered the loss for Volunteer State (22-19, 14-14).
The Lady Cougars will travel to Dyersburg State for a four-game series next weekend.