BARBOURVILLE, Ky. --
The Union College softball team split a doubleheader with St. Catharine on Sunday afternoon at Union Field, winning game one 5-4, then dropping game two, 1-0.
With the results, Union is now 17-22 on the year, while St. Catharine is 12-19.
In game one, Abby Sears
was the hero for the Lady Bulldogs, as she smacked a walk-off RBI single in the bottom of the 7th to give Union the win and halt their losing streak at five games.
In the first, St. Catharine struck with a run in the top half after getting their lead off batters on base with singles off of Union starter Falon Catalano
. This was, however, the only blemish St. Catharine would make on Catalano's stat line over the next five innings, as the senior retired 18 straight batters from the second through sixth innings.
At the plate, however, Union failed to take control of the game, struggling to get the offense going against St. Catharine starter Ashley Hardin. In the bottom of the fifth, the Lady Bulldogs finally got on the scoreboard, as Whitley Cochran
knocked in Ashley Tatman
with a two out, RBI single to center field to tie the game up at one.
In the bottom of the sixth, the Lady Bulldogs appeared to take control of the game when they scored three runs to take a 4-1 lead. Sears and Catalano started the inning off with a pair of singles, then after they were advanced a base on Autumn Greenwell
sacrifice bunt, Tatman hit a SAC RBI fly out to center, scoring Sears from third and giving Union their first lead of the day at 2-1.
Next up was Alissa Hampton
, who singled, advancing Catalano to third. With Katie Perkins
up, Hampton successfully stole second, but St Catharine's catcher's throw to second was high and dribbled into the outfield. Catalano proceeded to score on the play, as Hampton moved up to third. Perkins then hit an RBI single to score Hampton, as UC took a three-run lead into the seventh.
The Lady Patriots, however, came all the way back to tie the game up at four in the top half. Union was hampered in the inning by an error that scored STC's first run, then with one out, Chelcie Rein smashed a two-run homer over the left field wall to tie the game up at 4-apiece entering the bottom of the seventh.
Here, Union fired back to take the contest, as Hillary Leftrick
kicked off the inning with a lead-off triple to left center, then Sears came up and hit the game-winning RBI single up the middle to score Leftrick and give Union the one-run win.
Overall, Hamtpon was 2-for-3 with a run scored, while Catalano also went 2-for-3 with a run scored. Sears ended going 2-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored, while Tatman had an RBI and a run scored.
Despite the at time dominating pitching performance, Catalano recorded a no decision after the comeback by St. Catharine in the 7th, as Perkins came on in relief to get the final two outs of the inning and the win (6-7). Catalano went six and one third, giving up four runs (three earned), with seven strikeouts.
In game two, pitching controlled the day, as St. Catharine squeezed a run past in the sixth to win it.
In that inning, Union starter Perkins retired the first two batters, but the Lady Bulldogs made a critical error on the next batter of the inning to extend it. After a single, STC's Justine Paddock hit what turned out to be the game-winning, RBI single up the middle to give the Lady Patriots the one-run lead.
Union struggled all day against Lady Patriot starter Megan Beechum, but had a chance to tie the game up in the bottom of the seventh.
Leftrick led off the inning with an infield single, then advanced all the way to third base after a throwing error by the St. Catharine third basemen. Tatman, however, was then thrown out at third after a Sears grounder. Catalano kept the rally alive with a single, but Beechum recorded back-to-back outs to wiggle out of the jam and pick up the victory.
Overall, Union recorded just three hits on the day off of Beechum, who struck out five to earn the win. Perkins (6-8) was the hard luck loser for the Lady Bulldogs, going a full seven innings, giving up just one unearned run on four hits, with six strikeouts.
The Lady Bulldogs return to action on Tuesday when they host Bluefield in an AAC doubleheader at Union Field. First pitch is slated for 2 p.m.