Pioneer softball sweeps Rose-Hulman to finish HCAC home schedule

Baseball swing

Lexington, Ky. – The Transylvania softball team swept its fourth Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference series of the 2019 season on Thursday night, taking care of the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology Fightin' Engineers 6-0 and 8-0 in six innings at Hall Field.

In a matchup of the second-place Pioneers and the last-place Engineers, Transylvania wasted no time in displaying its capabilities on both sides of the field for the entirety of the twin bill. The Pioneers improved to 20-10 overall and 10-2 in HCAC play to maintain their hold of second place in the standings with four games remaining in their conference slate. Rose-Hulman fell to 6-20 overall and 2-10 in the HCAC. 

Kameron Bowling picked up her 12th win of the season in game one, working five innings of four-hit shutout ball; the sophomore registered eight strikeouts against one walk to amplify her record to 12-5. Jessica Gunter picked up where Bowling left off, shutting down the Engineer side for the final two innings as she retired all six batters faced.

The Pioneers produced plenty of pop inning-by-inning, tallying runs in four of six frames. Jessica Powell put the Pioneers ahead 1-0 in the bottom of the first on an RBI double that scored Brittany Mumford. Transy doubled its lead in the bottom of the third on an RBI by Annie Schuck to bring Shelby Gambrell across home plate.

Transylvania seized control in the following fourth inning with a three-run outing, keyed by an RBI triple from Laurel Major to deliver a 5-0 lead for the cruising Pioneers.

Jessica Powell and Alyssa Nunn each went 2-for-2 from the plate with a walk and an RBI apiece. Mumford went 2-for-4 as the Pioneers outhit Rose-Hulman 10-4.

In game two, the Pioneers again issued the opening salvo as they led wire-to-wire against the Engineers. Gambrell unleashed one of her two triples in the second game to score Mumford for the opening run in the bottom of the first. Gambrell then scored from third after Schuck sprouted a hard shot into the infield for a 2-0 lead.  

Jordan Kramer stood in the circle to start the nightcap and turned in one of her season-best performances, allowing just two hits over four innings of action.

Carrying a 3-0 lead into the fourth, the Pioneers put the game away with another three-run burst. Major led off with a single through the four-hole and was replaced by Taylor Stamps, who stole second base. Though the next two Pioneers were retired, Mumford delivered one of the thrilling plays of Thursday, smacking a long shot to deep right centerfield for a triple to score Major. The relay was mishandled, allowing Mumford to jet all the way around to score on the play. Gambrell matched Mumford with a triple on the next at-bat and scored on a wild pitch.

The Pioneers' reserves finished off the day in the bottom of the sixth as Jordyn Powell drew a bases-loaded walk to score Gunter for a 7-0 lead. Courtney Gentry delivered the final touch on the game as a mishandled ball by the Engineer shortstop allowed Kenzy Moore to score the eighth and final run of the contest.

Kramer collected the win to move to 2-1 on the season. Gunter held the Engineers at bay again with one walk allowed and two strikeouts in the final two innings.

Between both games, the Pioneers collected six triples with Mumford and Gambrell combining for four.

Transylvania finished the night with a season-long eight-game win streak in hand. 

The Pioneers continue their HCAC schedule this weekend as they visit the Bluffton University Beavers on Saturday, April 27 in Bluffton, Ohio. First pitch is scheduled for 1:00 p.m. at Bluffton Field.

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