Williamsburg, KY – The University of the Cumberlands returned to action as they split with the Phoenix of Cumberland University in Williamsburg for a Mid-South Conference (MSC) match-up. The first game went to the Patriots after a rally in the sixth inning to take the game 6-5. The Phoenix were able to capture game two by a score of 10-6. After the double header, the Patriots move to a 7-13 overall record with a 1-1 MSC record as the Phoenix's record goes to 11-9-1 and 1-1 in the MSC.
In the first game, the Phoenix found their way on the board first in the top of the third inning. Cumberland was able to tack on five runs to take a 5-0 lead. In the bottom of the fourth, the Patriots were able to shorten the Phoenix's lead by three. Coari Robertson (SR/New Washington, IN) led off with a double followed by a walk for Samantha Payne (SR/Rockcastle, KY). Cassandra Johnson (SR/London, KY) then singled to score Robertson and move Payne to second, making the score 5-1. Kaylee James (JR/Oakley, CA) followed with a bunt to load the bases for the Patriots. Katie Baldock (FR/Ashland, KY) singled to score Payne and Johnson, shortening the Phoenix's lead to 5-3.
The Patriots opened things back up in the bottom of the sixth to take the lead. Ciara England (SO/Martinsville, IN) led with a walk followed by a Phoenix error for Morgan Elliston (FR/Richmond, KY) to make her way to first. Madison Monnin (SR/Versailles, OH) made her way to base off another Phoenix error to load the bases. Kailin Yantz (FR/London, KY) came in clutch with a double to score England, Elliston, and Monnin and take the lead at 6-5. This would be the final scoring opportunity for either team as UC took game one by a score of 6-5.
Offensively, the Patriots were led by Kailin Yantz as she gathered two hits, one double, with two RBIs. Katie Baldock chipped in two hits with two RBIs of her own as Ciara England tallied three hits, one double, with a run. In the circle, Kacy Russell (SR/Knoxville, TN) earned the win in seven innings of work as she allowed just five runs (four earned) and ten hits. Russell struck out two in the win while walking one.
In game two, the Phoenix took the lead early in the first as they pieced together two base hits to hold the lead 1-0. The Patriots answered back quickly and tied it in the bottom of the first as England hit a solo homerun, tying the game at 1-1. The Phoenix retook the lead in the second as they tacked on a run to make their lead 2-1. In the top of the fourth, Cumberland scored three more runs to move their lead to 5-1.
In the bottom of the fourth, the Patriots tied up the game at 5-5 after chipping in four runs. Hannah Stephenson (FR/Knoxville, TN) led with a double followed by a single from Elliston to score Stephenson and move the score to 5-2. Elliston then made her way to third off a Patriot ground out. Yantz made her way on to first off a Phoenix error, then she sacrificed herself between the bases to score Elliston and make the score 5-3. Hayley Kilburn (FR/Ashland, KY) doubled to earn her way to second, followed by a hit by pitch for Johnson to hold runners on first and second. James singled to score Kilburn and move Johnson to third, making the score 5-4. Baldock singled to score Johnson and tie the game at 5-5.
The Phoenix retook the lead in the top of the fifth as they scored two runs to hold the score at 7-5. In the Patriots' fifth inning opportunity, Elliston made her way on base off a walk. Monnin singled to move Elliston to second. Yantz moved Elliston to third on a single of her own. Kilburn then recorded a fielder's choice to score Elliston, shrinking the Phoenix's lead to 7-6. The Phoenix added three more runs, two in the sixth and one in the seventh, to move their lead to 10-6. Despite the Patriots holding runners on first and second with no outs in the seventh, the Phoenix were able to hold their lead and take the game by a score of 10-6.
The Patriots were led offensively in game two by Hayley Kilburn and Morgan Elliston as each gathered two hits and an RBI in the contest. Kilburn chipped in each of her hits as doubles and recorded a run herself as Elliston earned a walk and two runs in the game. England tallied a homerun in the game as well. Taryn Sigl (SR/Sacramento, CA) started in the circle for the Patriots as she pitched 3.2 innings while allowing eight hits and five runs (all earned) and striking out four. Sydney Maynard (FR/Ona, WV) took the loss in the game in 3.1 innings of work with eight hits allowed and five runs (three earned).
The Patriots will be back on the field Sunday, March 19 for another double header against the Phoenix of Cumberland University. First pitch is set for 12 pm.
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