Pioneers Snap Six-game Losing Streak

First Baseman Ali King batting against Walters State Community College in the 6-4 victory.
First Baseman Ali King batting against Walters State Community College in the 6-4 victory.

By: Nick Kieser

GALLATIN, TENNESSEE — The Volunteer State Community College Lady Pioneers have returned from playing their latest conference series at Walters State Community College. Snapping a six-game losing streak the Pioneers now sit in fifth place in the conference standings with an overall record of 14-9.

The Lady Senators took games one and two on Friday with scores of 10-9 and 10-1. In game one the Senators had a 9-1 lead in the top of the third. Once the fifth inning rolled around the Pioneers scored seven consecutive runs to make the game 9-9 with two innings to play. To end the first game the Senators had the bases loaded and scored off of a walk to win.

Madalyn Edde started game two and allowed eight hits for seven runs through two innings of play. Maggie Savage relieved her and allowed three hits for three runs and the Senators would win the second game in five innings over the Pioneers. The lone run the Pioneers scored was off of a SAC-Fly from Ciera Purvis to score in Emma Byford.

"It was eye-opening for us. Coming back and hitting in seven runs shows that we don't rely on just a few players. Even after three hard losses we fought back and won game four," said First Baseman Ali King.

The Pioneers did just that on day two of the road trip in Morristown, Tennessee. Game three of four was a 3-1 loss for the Senators to win the series, however, the Pioneers did get as many hits as the Senators did to make the last few innings a nail biter.

"The main positive is that we didn't give up after our first game. It would have been easy to get it over within five innings and have it over with. We fought hard to the very end but just couldn't get the early wins in this series," said Starting Pitcher Tara Cates.

Madison Milton pitched in the 3-1 loss and allowed seven hits for three runs and one home run that put the Senators on top early to get their third victory over the Pioneers.

Heading into the final game in which the Pioneers snapped a six-game losing streak Maggie Savage started in the circle pitching but was relieved in the second inning and Tara Cates came in for the remainder of the 6-4 victory that closed the trip out.

To start game four the Pioneers had Ma'Liya Stone and Ciera Purvis on base early and with Ali King up to bat she homered for the first time this season to take a 3-0 lead in the first inning.

In the top of the third inning, Sydney Cope hit in Tara Cates to tie the game at four and then in the fifth Cates came back with a solo home run to make the game 5-4 scoring the game-winning run.

"At that at-bat, I was just trying to hit something hard into the dirt or a fly-ball so we could advance the runners. It's about making good contact with what the pitcher throws to you and if you hit it the ball can go pretty far," said King on her home run in the last game of the series.

"I was struggling the last week with batting and I told myself I just needed to get up there and hit the ball. Getting up there to bat and not striking out is always good and winning that last game set the tone for the next weekend," said Cates about her home run and about what the win did for this now 8-6 team in conference play.

The Lady Pioneers host Southwest Tennessee Community College this weekend starting on Friday at 2 p.m. for the first two games. Then Saturday games three and four which start at noon. Follow the softball program on Twitter @VSCCPioneersSB for more news and game analysis.