By: Nick Kieser
GALLATIN, TENNESSEE — The Volunteer State Community College softball program has won three consecutive conference series dating back to April 1 playing against Southwest Tennessee Community College.
Hosting Cleveland State Community College Friday, April 12 the Pioneers won both games to begin the series and keep the winning streak alive at five in a row. Tara Cates pitched a complete game to start the series and totaled five strikeouts.
Game one the Pioneers defeated the visiting Cougars 4-3 and each time Vol State took the lead catcher Sydney Cope was responsible for driving in the runs. Batting in the bottom of the fifth and the seventh innings she was able to smack the ball and force Cleveland to miss an opportunity to take control.
"I feel like it's important to get hot late and I feel like we're doing that. It felt good to get some wins under our belt before we have the next few weeks of the season," said Cope.
Game two of the series was an 11-5 victory and Maggie Savage picked up her fourth win of the season coming in to relieve Peyton MacLeod and Madalyn Edde. The Pioneers trailed 5-1 going into the bottom of the third inning, but the batters had other plans.
Scoring 10 unanswered runs the Pioneers dominated day one of the series and Cope once again played a huge part in this series. Cope had the game-winning hit with a two-run home run to score herself and Edde. Cope finished the day with five RBIs and three hits.
"I am glad that I was finally able to step up like I have needed to," said Cope following her home run game and winning the series against Cleveland state.
Ma'Liya Stone returned to action from a back injury after missing 11 days and six games. Over the weekend she tallied three RBIs, six hits, and scored five runs.
"It's still sore but I am trying to push harder for the team and work ten times harder than when I was playing before I left. I just have to get back to where I was. We need solid at-bats next series along with our defense," said Stone following the series.
Cleveland won game three 7-1 after allowing 15 runs the first day and three errors. Madison Milton in the loss is now (4-4) on the season and tallied two strikeouts in three innings pitched.
Game four was an 8-4 win and the Pioneers went up early in the second inning 4-0. Marlar scored Hanlon in the bottom of the fourth inning to put the icing on the cake and go up 6-3.
Speaking of cake the Vol State Lady Pioneers celebrated a milestone on Saturday after winning their 900th game in Jackson, Tennessee on April 5. The second game of the series was a 12-7 victory and Head Coach Johnny Lynn took in the milestone as the only softball coach in the school's history.
"He pushes us all the time and he deserves to get the wins that he has, and it was good we stepped up for him to get the wins that were part of the milestone," said Cope.
"He's been here for a long time so I know that makes him happy, and us playing here as a team I think that would make coach Lynn very proud," said Stone during the celebration.
The Pioneers head to Tullahoma, Tennessee for the final road series of the regular season Friday, April 19. Follow the program on Twitter @VSCCPioneersSB for all the latest news and analysis surrounding the team.