WILLIAMSBURG, Ky. -- The Union College softball team won the second game of an NAIA softball doubleheader at University of the Cumberlands (Ky.), 7-5, to earn a split in the two-game set on Friday. The Lady Bulldogs dropped the first game, 3-2, in what was the 2012 regular season finale for the team.
With the results, Union ends the regular year with a 26-15 overall mark. Cumberlands went to 9-38 on the year with the split.
In the first game, Cumberlands held off a late Union rally, winning the contest with a run in the bottom of the sixth. Entering that inning, Cumberlands held a 2-0 lead over the Lady Bulldogs after scoring lone runs in the bottom of the first, and the bottom of the fourth.
In the top of the sixth, and with two outs, Abby Sears (London, Ky.) tied things up with one swing of the bat, hitting a two-run home run over the center field fence. The homer, which scored Gina Loflin (Salisbury, N.C.), was the fourth of the year for Sears.
However, in the bottom half of the inning, Cumberlands scored on an RBI double by Rachel Atkins, giving the Lady Patriots a one-run lead after six. In the seventh, Union went down in order, as Cumberlands recorded the one-run, game one win.
In the game, UC had just three hits, as Cumberlands starter Angela Steuer (5-20) earned the complete game win, striking out five. Rachel Cogdill (3-5) was the loser for Union, giving up the game-winning run in the sixth in her only inning of relief work.
In the second game, the Lady Bulldogs capitalized on eight Cumberlands errors, and hung on over the final two innings to earn a doubleheader split.
In the second, Union was first to strike, as Jamie Cyrus (Loganville, Ga.) hit an RBI single, knocking home Sears to give the Lady Bulldogs the early 1-0 lead. In the third, Union extended the lead out to 5-0 after scoring four runs.
First, Ashley Wojnowski (Pigeon Forge, Tenn.), who led the inning off with a single, scored on an error to make it 2-0. Next, Sears came up and hit a two-RBI double, scoring Whitley Cochran (Desert Hills, Ariz.) and Loflin, making it 4-0. The last run was scored on another Cumberlands error, with Aryssa Puckett (Knoxville, Tenn.) cashing in on the mistake to score, making it a 5-0 game.
Cumberlands, however, battled right back in the bottom half of the inning, scoring five runs of their own to tie things up at five-all after three full innings.
In the top of the fifth, the Lady Bulldogs took the lead back at 6-5, as Puckett scored once again on an error after leading the inning off with a double. In the sixth, Union scored the go-ahead run on a Alissa Hampton (Glasglow, Ky.) RBI single that scored Wojnowski.
The two-run lead was more than enough for the Lady Bulldog pitching staff, as they staved off a few rallies by Cumberlands in the final innings to clinch the spilt, and their 26th win of the season in the process.
Overall at the plate in the second game, Wojnowski and Puckett both went 2-for-4 with two runs scored, while Sears was 2-for-3 with two RBI. In the circle, Sears (14-5) was the winner, while Perkins came on in the seventh to earn the save, her first of the season.
The Lady Bulldogs now set their sights on the 2012 Appalachian Athletic Conference Softball Tournament, which begins Tuesday at Domtar Park in Kingsport, Tenn. More information on the tournament will be posted to UCBulldogs.com as it becomes available throughout the weekend.