DYERSBURG — As the old saying goes, "All good things must come to an end."
Such was the case Saturday afternoon for the Cleveland State softball team, as their 12-game winning streak came to an end at the hands of the Dyersburg State Lady Eagles.
After the Lady Cougars swept a doubleheader on Friday, the Lady Eagles returned the favor on Saturday with a sweep of their own to gain a split of the four game TCCAA Region VII Conference series, taking game one 6-3 and then squeaking out a win in extra innings in game two, 2-1.
"Dyersburg came out ready to play and they responded like good teams do," stated Lady Cougar coach Katie Willingham. "They capitalized on our errors and put runs on the board. We played much better in game two, but we couldn't string many hits together in either game."
Kace Daugherty got the home team off on the right foot with a single in the bottom of the first and eventually came around to score on a Lady Cougar miscue for a 1-0 lead in game one.
Perry Hindi singled and later scored on a wild pitch in the top of the second to tie the game at 1-1.
Four singles an error and a bases-loaded walk spelled bad news for the visitors as Dyersburg State (26-12, 20-12) put four big runs on the board in the bottom of the third. Holly Gibbons, Twyla Pratt and Brooklyn Taylor all picked up an RBI as the Lady Eagles took the lead, 5-1.
The Lady Cougars (19-25, 14-18) cut into the lead in their half of the fifth as Ashley Swaney singled home a run and Miranda Smith pushed a run across on a groundout to slice the lead to 5-3.
The rally would end there for the Lady Cougars as another unearned run in the sixth gave the home team a three-run cushion to secure the win in game one. Hayley Newman got the win for Dyersburg State while Ida Watson took the loss for Cleveland State.
Daugherty tripled in the bottom of the first to start game two and scored on a single from Madison Tennyson for a quick 1-0 lead.
Pitching dominated on both sides over the next six innings as Kelsey Haley for Cleveland State and Laura Bell for the Lady Eagles took turns sitting the opposition down with relative ease.
Down to their last three outs, the Lady Cougars managed to tie the game in the seventh frame. Tori Roberts singled to start the uprising and pinch runner Ciera Belcher came on and stole second to get in scoring position. A single by Amber Swaney moved Belcher to third and she scored on a grounder to the shortstop by Kristen Qualls to tie the game at 1-1.
In extra innings, a plunked batter, a bunt single, a sacrifice bunt and a sacrifice fly to right field by Pratt would be the winning combination for the Lady Eagles in the bottom of the eighth inning as they took game two, a Saturday sweep and gained a split of the four-game series.
Bell tossed all eight innings to get the hard-earned win for Dyersburg State while Haley suffered the tough-luck loss for Cleveland State.
The Lady Cougars will wind up the regular season at home as Southwest Tennessee comes to town this weekend.