By: Nick Kieser
GALLATIN, TENNESSEE — The Volunteer State Community College Lady Pioneers softball program has started the 2019 year with a series split against Lakeland College.
Opening the season at home was prolonged with the series the day before (Feb. 23) canceled with Frontier College due to inclement weather. Lakeland was defeated in game one by the Pioneers 8-5 with the help of Emma Byford's home run and Madalyn Edde's pitching performance.
"Overall I think we looked confident especially at the plate. Everyone was jumping on the pitches and I think that's why we went into the next game a little relaxed. We just look good as a whole really," said Edde after her complete pitching performance.
Edde comes over from Chattanooga State Community College where she pitched four innings and had three strikeouts in the 2018 season.
"I felt really confident because my defense was playing behind me and that is a big thing in softball. I'm going to leave confident after that game, and I was just really proud of my defense and how everyone had my back," said Edde after her Pioneer debut. She tossed six innings and had one strikeout.
Hitting was another huge factor in game one and the Pioneers had plenty of it as the hitters found the speed of Lakeland's pitcher early on in the game.
"I was excited for it but I mean that's what I'm supposed to do. I wasn't really thinking I was just up there swinging having fun and doing what I'm supposed to be doing," said Byford after hitting her first home run for her self and the team this season.
In game two of the opening series, the Pioneers lost in five innings 18-7 to Lakeland. Madison Milton made her Pioneer debut as well but was pulled at the end of the second inning allowing eight runs. After her, Tara Cates came in for two-innings but was pulled. Peyton MacLeod and Maggie Savage finished out the game.
"We went in relaxed. We just were going through the motions and didn't pick each other up like we should have to win the game," said Byford.
"Not being down on ourselves. We just need to be confident in doing our job and knowing what we need to do every play and be ready for each play," said Edde.
Last year the Pioneers finished 19-5 at home and look to keep home field record a dominant one this season. Finishing out last year the Pioneers lost in three games at the conference tournament and look to get back this season as a more improved team.
Before opening up conference play at Roane State Community College Friday the Pioneers play home games Tuesday versus Calhoun College and Thursday against Wabash Valley. Both doubleheaders begin at 2 pm.
To get more updates and analysis on the team follow the Twitter account @VSCCPioneersSB. Live stream games and interview action can be found here.