The University of the Cumberlands (UC) softball team took to the diamond for the 2nd time this week as they searched for their first conference victory of the season against Mid-South Conference (MSC) foe University of Pikeville (UPike).
In the first game of the doubleheader, the bats were limited as both teams struggled to get anything going offensively. It wasn't until the fifth inning that the first run was scored of the game when Pikeville took a 1-0 lead. The Patriots would come through in the final inning as Tabitha Walker (Talbott, TN) would pinch run after a single by Gloriann Cordero (London, KY) and would cross the plate to tie the game in the bottom of the 7th on a sacrifice fly. Heading into extra innings, UC continued to hit well as Brittny Lovelace (Middletown, OH) would come across the plate to score the game winning run on a walk-off single by Tabitha Benson (Cookeville, TN) for the 2-1 win. Junior Jessica Speake (Lancaster, KY) had one of her best outings of the season as she pitched 8 full innings allowing 1 run on 5 hits while earning 2 strikeouts. Kaitlyn Shepherd (Berry, KY) continued her offensive productivity as she notched 2 big hits. Shortstop Tabitha Benson had a great game as she went 2-3 with the game winning RBI.
In the second game, it was a turnaround for UPike as they battled from behind to take a victory from UC. The Patriots would tie the ballgame in the bottom of the 5th at 3-3, but the Bears' bats lit up the scoreboard in the final two innings as they would score 6 runs to take a 9-5 win over UC. A bright spot for the Patriots was their ability to put together quite a few hits in each inning, but were unable to bring the runners in as they left 10 on the bases. Brittny Lovelace would have another big game going 2-3 with a RBI. Ashleigh Hopf (Centerville, OH) had a huge game going 3-4 from the dish with a home run in the 7th inning to help try to spark the Patriots rally.
The Patriots will now head to Myrtle Beach, SC to play over Spring Break. The Patriots hope to put it all together in the week before they start predominant conference play once they get back. The Patriots now sit at 2-10 overall and 1-5 in the Mid-South Conference.
For more information on the Patriot Softball program as well as other Patriot athletics, please visit www.cumberlandspatriots.com.
Article by Jordan Gossett, UC Multimedia & Athletic Services Graduate Assistant