VIDEO: Michael Graves Interview
VIDEO: Abby Fiessinger Interview
GREENEVILLE, Tenn. – Carson-Newman (27-15, 7-9 South Atlantic Conference) run-ruled Tusculum (22-19, 6-8 SAC) before the Pioneers rallied in the nightcap to split a SAC doubleheader with the Eagles Wednesday afternoon at Red Edmunds Field.
Carson-Newman won game one 12-2 before the Pioneers tallied a 7-5 decision in the nightcap.
"The biggest thing was that we were able to set the tone and keep pressure on Tusculum in game one," interim head coach Michael Graves said. "In game two, we let them do what we did to them in game one. We stuck together and were able to battle back, and I was proud of them for that."
Abby Fiessinger tallied a pair of multi-hit days and drove in four. Haley Caldwell (Kenova, W.Va.) also had two mult-hit efforts with a two-RBI day in the night cap. Cheyenne Boles (Knoxville, Tenn.) went 3-for-6 with three batted in.
Game one: Carson-Newman 12, Tusculum 2 (five innings)
Carson-Newman pounced on Tusculum early. After a leadoff groundout, KaraLynne Levi (Murfreesboro, Tenn.) got plunked to give C-N a one-out base runner. Lacie Rinus (Murfreesboro, Tenn.) drilled her 18th double of the year to left center field to score Levi from three bases away.
Back-to-back-to-back-to-back singles kept the merry-go-round rolling. Katie Pritchett (Ringgold, Ga.) drove in the second run of the frame with a base hit up the middle.
Taylor Scott (Huntington, W.Va.) tallied run number three with a bases-loaded, RBI-infield single to short.
Ashlyn Cooper (Friendsville, Tenn.) rounded out the scoring in the top of the fisrt with a sacrifice fly to the wall in left that drove in Pritchett. When the dust settled, the Eagles were up 4-0.
Carson-Newman added three more runs in the top of the second. A walk and an error on a fielder's choice gave C-N two base runners with one out. Haley Caldwell (Kenova, W.Va.) knocked a base hit to third base. A high throw to first allowed the lead runner, Abby Fiessinger (Benton, Ky.) to sprint home to push the advantage to 5-0.
After a strikeout, Cheyenne Boles (Knoxville, Tenn.) belted the first pitch she got back up the box to drive in Caldwell and Levi to stretch the advantage to 7-0 after an inning and a half.
The Eagles kept the party rolling in the third inning. Kristen Toppel (Roanoke, Va.) knocked a one-out single to left, stole second and then sprinted home when Fiessigner cranked a double into the alleyway in right center to stretch the advantage to 8-0. Rinus then brought Fiessigner in with a two-out bloop single to left center to push the lead to 9-0.
Carson-Newman hung three more up in the top of the fourth with RBI doubles from Boles and Fiessinger, and an RBI single from Scott to make it 12-0 in favor of the Orange and Blue.
Tusculum got two back in the bottom of the fourth on a Sammie West two-run bomb to left center that brought the deficit down to 12-2.
Lacie Rinus got the job done in the circle to improve to 17-8. She fired four innings, allowing three hits and two runs. Rinus struck out nine and walked three.
Allison Pate started and took the loss for Tusculum to fall to 9-9. She fired the first third of an inning, giving up four hits and four runs. Taylor Plemons worked 2.2 innings in relief, with six hits and five runs, two earned allowed. Ivee Richesin pitched the final 2.0 innings, surrendering four hits and three runs.
Game two: Tusculum 7, Carson-Newman 5
It was Tusculum who hung a crooked number in the first in game two. The Pioneers loaded the bases without an out with a walk, a bunt single and a hit batsman. Anna Alloway worked a bases loaded walk to bring in one before Delaney Guerrero scored on a wild pitch. Brittney Franse rounded out the scoring with a single back up the middle to drive in one with two outs. When the dust settled, Tusculum led 3-0.
The Pioneers pushed the lead out to 4-0 on a Guerrero base hit to short in the bottom of the second after a double and a walk.
Carson-Newman got that run back in the top of the third inning. Toppel knocked a one-out double down the right field line, then sprinted in when Fiessinger drilled her third double of the afternoon to center field.
In the fourth Haley Caldwell (Kenova, W.Va.) led off with a double to left center before moving to third on a Pritchett groundout. After a line out to right, Scott squeezed a base hit inside the third base bag to plate her fellow West Virginian.
Carson-Newman knotted things up in the top off the fifth. Fiessinger led off the frame as a hit batsman. She moved to second on a Levi single up the middle. After an infield fly, Caldwell drove in the pair with a double off the wall in left center to level things up at 4-4.
That tie would be short-lived. In the bottom of the fifth, the Pioneers got a leadoff triple from Taylor Battle before she scored on a Morgan Mahaffey fielder's choice to second.
Tusculum then added insurance in the bottom of the sixth with timely two-out hitting. A two-out double from Franse, followed by RBI singles to center from Battle and Mahaffey put Tussculum up 7-4.
Fiessinger led off the top of the seventh with her fifth home run of the year to pull C-N within two, 7-5. Then Rinus worked a one-out walk. However, two groundballs ended the game and left the tying run at the plate.
Lizzy Galloway got the win for Tusculum to improve to 3-4. She allowed nine hits and five runs.
Morgan Crawford (Chickamauga, Ga.) took the loss in relief to fall to 10-6.
The Eagles return to the Vickee Kazee-Hollifield Softball Complex for a doubleheader against top-15 Lenoir-Rhyne at 2 p.m. Saturday. Coverage of the contest will be available on the Eagle Sports Network at cneagle.com/live.