Wilmore, Ky. – The Transylvania softball team split a Friday afternoon doubleheader against the Birmingham-Southern College Panthers in a final nonconference tune-up before commencing the rest of a demanding Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference schedule.
In the first game of the day, the Pioneers picked up a 2-1 win against the Panthers in a complete-game start from junior pitcher Renae Morton. The Panthers bounced back in the nightcap with 11-0 win in six innings for forge the split.
The Pioneers moved to 16-7 after the pair of Friday games played at Asbury University's Kirkland Complex, as they await the opening of their renovated home ballpark of Hall Field.
The first game of the day was one of Transylvania's finest defensive performances of the season. After yielding a first-inning run against the Panthers, the visitors did not score again for the rest of the contest.
The only run of the game for Birmingham-Southern came via a runner scoring from third on a wild pitch from Morton. For the rest of the contest, Morton and the Pioneers were sharp and unrelenting against the Panthers.
The Pioneers took back the run they allowed to the Panthers in the bottom of the first inning. Using a lead-off single from sophomore infielder Brittany Mumford, the Pioneers were able to tab the tying run. Senior infielder Shelby Bailey did the honors, driving in Mumford from second base with an RBI single.
The bottom of the third inning provided the would-be game-winning run, and the final score of the game for Transylvania. Quickly the Pioneers put two on base with back-to-back errors by the Panthers, and the first runner in Mumford scored on the second error.
The Pioneers had five hits to four by the Panthers. Morton picked up three strikeouts for the day while allowing two walks and four hits in her eighth complete game of the season.
A slow start in game two hindered the Pioneers' chance for an afternoon sweep. Sophomore pitcher Jordan Kramer got the start in game two, and the Panthers caught fire quickly, scoring three runs in the top of the first inning to take a 3-0 lead.
Further aiding the Panthers' winning cause in game two were four untimely errors by the Pioneers that allowed the Panthers a slew of extra runs throughout the course of the game.
Transylvania swung the bat aggressively all game, but were denied the rally they craved as the Pioneers endured 11 strikeouts in game two.
Birmingham-Southern picked up two more runs in the second inning to grab a comfortable 5-0 lead after two innings, and a five-run outburst in the top of the sixth inning put any hopes for a comeback out of reach for the Pioneers.
Sophomore outfielder Shelby Gambrell paced the Pioneers offensively in the second game, going 2-for-3 from the plate with a double, the lone extra-base hit of the afternoon for Transylvania.
The Pioneers will be back in action tomorrow, April 8 at the Kirkland Complex for a doubleheader against the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology Fightin' Engineers. That set of games is scheduled for a 1:00 p.m. start.
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