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Sears Tosses One-Hitter, as UC Splits DH with LMU

HARROGATE, Tenn. -- The Union College softball team split a doubleheader with Lincoln Memorial (Tenn.) on Wednesday. The Lady Bulldogs captured game one, 9-0, while the Lady Railsplitters won game two, 6-5.

With the results, Union moved to 23-12 on the year, while Lincoln Memorial went to 18-26 overall.

Game One

In the first game, the Lady Bulldogs rolled past the Lady Railsplitters on the heels of a fantastic starting pitching performance from Abby Sears (London, Ky.).

In the first, UC jumped out to a 3-0 lead. Aryssa Puckett (Knoxville, Tenn.) had a two-RBI double in the inning, while Whitley Cochran (Desert Hills, Ariz.) earned an RBI after forcing a walk with the bases loaded.

The Lady Bulldogs then added single runs in three straight innings, and held a 6-0 lead going into the bottom of the fourth. UC put LMU away in the top of the seventh, scoring three more runs to go up nine. Ashley Wojnowski (Pigeon Forge, Tenn.) had an two-RBI triple in the inning, while Alissa Hampton (Glasglow, Ky.) had the innings other RBI on a ground out.

The run support from the Union offense was more than enough for Sears, who tossed a complete game, one-hit shutout, confusing the Lincoln Memorial lineup all game. Sears, who went to 11-4 on the year with the victory, struck out 11 (one short of matching a career-high), and gave up her lone hit of the contest in the bottom of the first inning.

At the plate in game one, Wojnowski went 3-for-4 with three RBI, and three runs scored,, while hitting two triples. Wojnowski’s two triple game was the first for a Union player since 1997, when Stephanie Caito accomplished the feat vs. Campbellsville.

Meanwhile, Puckett also went 3-for-4 with two RBI, and a run scored. Puckett also smacked two doubles in the win. Gina Loflin (Salisbury, N.C.) rounded out the top performances in game one, recording a hit, and scoring two runs.

Union also capitalized on several LMU mistakes in the win, as the Lady Railsplitters made four errors in the loss.

Game Two

In the second game, the Lady Bulldogs came back to take the lead late, but let it slip away in the bottom of the sixth, as LMU earned a split with the one-run win.

In the bottom of the first, LMU took an early lead, scoring a lone run to go up 1-0 after one. The game remained that way into the top of the fifth, where the Lady Bulldogs knotted the game up at one on a Loflin RBI single.

LMU, however, countered in the bottom half of the inning, scoring three runs to go up 4-1 after five.

Union answered right back in the top half of the sixth, scoring four runs to take their first lead of the game at 5-4. Madison McKinney (Elizabethton, Tenn.) had an RBI single in the inning, while Wojnowski came up big again, hitting a bases clearing, three-RBI double that gave the Lady Bulldogs the lead.

But, LMU came right back in the bottom half of the sixth and scored two runs to take a one-run lead. The damage could’ve been much worse, as the Lady Railsplitters stranded two runners on base to end the inning.

In the top of the seventh, Jamie Cyrus (Loganville, Ga.) tried to ignite a rally with a single with two outs, but LMU got a strikeout on the next UC batter to end the ballgame.

Overall, Wojnowski led the way at the plate for UC again, going 2-for-4 with a run scored, and three RBI. Cyrus was the only other Lady Bulldog to have multiple hits in the second game, going 2-for-3 with a walk. In the circle, Rachell Cogdill (Knoxville, Tenn.) (3-4) was the loser, giving up three runs in an inning of relief work.

The Lady Bulldogs return to action on Saturday when they host No. 22 Reinhardt (Ga.) at Union Field in an AAC doubleheader. First pitch is scheduled for 2 p.m.


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