By: Nick Kieser
GALLATIN, TENNESSEE — The Volunteer State Community College Lady Pioneers have ended their season as the runner up to the Region Seven Postseason Tournament. Chattanooga State Community College defeated the Pioneers 13-8 and went undefeated throughout tournament play.
Due to incoming weather on Thursday, the tournament was re-scheduled to finish on Wednesday, May 8. Beginning the tournament the Pioneers won the first two games with a days rest between the two. Playing Chatt State twice the Pioneers fell both times and after losing game three the Pioneers eliminated Walters State Community College to advance to the finals.
Chatt State has not lost two in a row all season and the first time the Tigers were even shut-out was when the Pioneers played their final regular season game and won 9-0. Overall an honorable mention who made a huge difference scored in nine runs on eight hits was Alex McFarlin. Playing the final game McFarlin had three hits for three RBIs.
Peyton MacLeod started the game pitching and made it 1.2 innings before Madison Milton and Madalyn Edde came in for relief. Edde pitched three innings giving up four hits, three runs, and one strikeout. The runs did not come early for the Pioneers and Chatt State was able to power through two innings going up 7-0 before the Pioneers scored a run.
"We know that they are going to score so we just needed to focus on holding them the best we could. We're going [to the finals] and the atmosphere was that we have two games left. We were on it and confident but knew that it wasn't going to be easy but you have to have the heart to win it," said Emma Byford before playing in the final game of the season.
Going into the top of the sixth inning the Pioneer Centerfielder Ciera Purvis was up to bat and got the fans behind her in chants that led to a four-run rally. The electrifying energy from the spectators and dugout charged the batters to drive in runs and force walks. During this rally, the Pioneers chased away Brooke Parrott who was awarded Pitcher of The Year and forced the Tigers to make a pitching change.
Once the rally was over the Tigers scored three more runs to close the gap and took the victory after the Pioneers did not score a run in the top of the seventh inning.
The Pioneers finish the year 28-18 and as the second-best team in the conference. For the Pioneers 14 sophomores will move on past this program after a successful season and embark on greater things. Five freshmen will return to the team while three players took part in the 2019 season.
"Vol State has been the best opportunity ever and I really wish Vol State was a four-year college because I would've stayed for four years. I love the girls and the memories I made over the years and it's been the best experience of my entire life and I couldn't have asked for anything better," said Ciera Purvis before walking off the field as a Pioneer for the final time.
Chattanooga State will go to St. George, Utah for the NJCAA College World Series which is from May 22-25.
Thanks to those who supported the program this season and also thanks to the coaches and trainer who made this year a special one. Follow the program on Twitter @VSCCPioneersSB for all the latest surrounding the team as next season approaches.