By: Nick Kieser
GALLATIN, TENNESSEE — The Volunteer State Community College Lady Pioneers (13-6) have fallen three games to one to the Dyersburg State Community College Lady Eagles (12-6). The wins make it three in a row for the Eagles and three losses in a row for the Pioneers to close out the series.
After this series, the Pioneers sit tied for the second place spot in the standings with Walters State being (7-3) in conference play thus far.
Game one was defined by two Pioneer home runs hit by Kennedy Acklin and Alex McFarlin. In her sixteenth collegiate game, McFarlin hit her first home run as a Pioneer to put her team up 2-0 in the bottom of the second inning.
"It was awesome and it felt really good. I am glad I could put a run up on the scoreboard for the team. I wish it could've been with people on but it's ok I am still glad I got it," said McFarlin postgame after getting the lone win against Dyersburg.
Game two was tied at one until the top of the fourth when Dyersburg hit a solo home run and then two more runs scored to put the Eagles ahead 4-1. Ma'Liya Stone scored off of a single from Ciera Purvis to obtain the last run of the game for the Pioneers in the 7-2 loss.
Game three the Pioneers would fall 2-0 from the Eagles scoring two runs in the fifth inning to close the game out. Tara Cates pitched all seven innings for a total of five hits allowed two runs scored and four strikeouts.
"We know we can do better and know how much potential that we have. We tend to get excited and work too fast. These are the kind of games that can make us stronger teammates and work harder for each other," said Emilee Hanlon following the series against Dyersburg.
Cates received her first loss on the year (6-1) in game three and now as a total of 40.2 innings pitched and 25 strikeouts thus far this season after playing in two of the four games against Dyersburg.
"It was a tough battle both games today. I think we need to learn how to get our hitting going and string more hits together and keep building off of that," said Cates.
Game four the Pioneers started Maggie Savage and pulled her after two innings to put Peyton Macleod in. MacLeod went two innings as well until Madalyn Edde came in to close the game pitching three innings.
The Eagles pulled ahead in the third inning pilling on six runs to go on top 7-3. Following that up the Pioneers tied the game in the bottom of the fourth at seven apiece. Hanson and Edde would score in the bottom of the seventh but would end the game one run shy of tying the game to go into extra innings.
"The pitching was better than what we have been seeing so far this season so that was an adjustment. We just need to learn how to adjust a little better and stay ahead of them," said Cates on the batting aspect of the Pioneers game.
"The excitement and momentum we had going into that last inning in the last game we need to carry that over into the next game that we play for sure," said Hanlon on how to have success in the next conference matchup.
Hanlon had a season-high four stolen bases in the last game against Dyersburg. Totaling three hits alone that game was not enough for the Pioneers and more hitting surrounding that kind of play is needed to stay atop the conference.
The Pioneers will head off to Walters State Community College on Thursday evening to play in a four-game conference series starting on Friday at 2 p.m EST. The Lady Senators won three of four in their latest series at Southwest Tennessee Community College.
To follow the Pioneers softball program follow the Twitter @VSCCPioneersSB for all the latest news and updates surrounding the team.