Pioneers take series against Southwest

Emma Byford throwing to make a force out first base.
Emma Byford throwing to make a force out first base.

By: Nick Kieser

GALLATIN, TENNESSEE — The Volunteer State Community College Lady Pioneers took three out of four games against the Southwest Tennessee Community College Lady Saluqis this past conference series.

Game one was a slugfest for the Pioneers as there were 10 hits and seven alone in the third inning to go up 7-2. The Pioneers walked away on Sunday with game one in hand early winning 10-2 in five innings of play.

Tara Cates started in the circle and improved her record to (8-1). She pitched for a grand total of five innings, three allowed hits, two allowed runs, and four strikeouts. Emilee Hanlon had a team-high two RBIs and Cates hit a triple in the game as well aside from pitching.

Game two the Saluqis battled back from a 5-1 deficit early to take the 6-5 lead in the top of the seventh inning. Hanlon was the hero batting in Ciera Purvis to tie the game at six apiece.

Next up to bat was Hannah Marlar and she stepped up after missing most of the last series at Walters State dealing with a lower-body injury. She bunted in Hanlon off a squeeze play to win game two 7-6.

Madalyn Edde pitched a complete seven-inning game for a total of 10 hits allowed, six runs allowed, and three strikeouts. The rough start was handled by her teammates and picked her up to get the game two victory. Edde's record is now (3-4) on the season after her seventh start.

Madison Milton started game three in the only loss the Pioneers had this series 10-8. Milton pitched for a total of 5.1 innings and allowed nine hits and 10 runs to score. Peyton MacLeod pitched for 1.2 innings to close and maintain a steady pace to battle back from a 10-4 deficit.

Alex McFarlin had a big batting performance despite the loss. She went three for four with one RBI and one run. Her last at-bat was a double to score Hanlon to cut the game down to a two-run deficit.

Game four was a quick final game for the series. The Pioneers won 10-1 in five innings to wrap up the games against Southwest. Maggie Savage was the starting pitcher and in her seventh start of the year. Savage posted her second win and had four allowed hits, one run scored, and one strikeout.

"The last game I think we did better about not making errors and capitalizing on hits and taking care of business," said Savage following the series against Southwest.

Now in fourth place in the Region 7 standings, the Pioneers are poised to continue the winning side of things as they will travel to Jackson State Community College for the next conference series.

"We don't need to underestimate any team in this conference. Any team can come back and win the whole thing. We need to win the next series so we can be higher in the standings. We're all getting into the rhythm now," said Savage.

The first pitch for the Lady Pioneers on Friday at 2 p.m. and to stay updated on the program follow the team on Twitter @VSCCPioneersSB for more news and analysis.