BARBOURVILLE, Ky. - The Union College softball team swept an Appalachian Athletic Conference doubleheader from Montreat (N.C.) on Monday at Union Field. The Lady Bulldogs won both games one and two by identical 6-3 final scores.
With the victories, Union moved to 6-4 overall, 2-0 in the AAC, while Montreat fell to 0-4, 0-2 in the AAC with the pair of losses.
After three and a half scoreless innings, the Lady Bulldogs finally cracked the scoreboard with a three-run bottom of the fourth to take a 3-0 lead. But, in the top of the sixth, Montreat scored three times to tie the game up at 3-3 heading into the bottom half of the inning.
It was there that UC went up for good, scoring three runs off of Montreat relief pitcher Dakota Icard. Starter Katie Perkins put the finishing touches on the win in the top of the seventh, retiring the Montreat side in order.
Overall in the first game, Ashley Wojnowski (2-for-2, RBI), Autumn Greenwell (2-for-4, RBI) and Erin Cooper (2-for-3) had multiple hit games for the Lady Bulldogs. In the circle, Perkins went the distance, striking out 10 in seven innings of work to move to 4-1 on the year. Icard (0-1) took the loss for Montreat.
Game One - Turning Point
After surrendering a three-run lead in the top half of the sixth, UC came back with avengence in the bottom half of the inning, scoring three runs of their own to put Montreat away. Brianna Degennaro had what turned out to be the game-winning RBI single with one out (scoring pinch runner Amanda Cupp from second), while Alissa Hampton and Greenwell added insurance runs with back-to-back, two out, RBI doubles.
The second game started out bleak for the Lady Bulldogs and starting pitcher Gianna Schauer, as the freshman allowed three runs without getting an out in the top of the first.
However, Schuaer picked herself up off the mat, and got herself out of the inning without giving up anymore runs. She proceeded to coast through the next six innings, as the Lady Bulldog offense then got things rolling, pounding out 16 hits in the game two victory.
After plating a pair of runs in the first, UC took the lead for good in the second, scoring two runs to go up 4-3. The Lady Bulldogs then added single runs in the third and sixth innings, and let Schauer do the rest, as she ended the game with 11 strikeouts to earn the complete game victory (2-3).
Overall in game two, both Jamie Cyrus and Danielle Bourm went 3-for-4 to lead the way, with Cyrus recording three RBI in the win. Meanwhile, Wojnowski went 2-for-4 with an RBI, and Ellen Huff and Degennaro both went 2-for-3 with an RBI each (Huff hit her first career home run in the second inning).
Game Two - Turning Point
Things almost completely got away from Schauer in the top of the first, as the first five Montreat batters reached base. However, Schauer wiggled her way out of the jam, getting back-to-back strikeouts and a groundout to end the inning. From there, the freshman rolled, surrendering just one more hit the rest of the afternoon (an infield single in the top of the fourth.)
By the Numbers
• The Lady Bulldogs open AAC play with a doubleheader sweep for the second straight season. Last year, UC started conference play 4-0.
• Wojnowski has now had a hit in nine of the 10 games UC has played on the year.
• Huff's solo home run in the second inning of game two was not only the sophomore catcher's first homer, but the first hit of her UC career. Last season, Huff only recorded four at-bats and went 0-for-2 against Lindsey Wilson last week.
• Cyrus had three hits in game two, the first time in her career she has done that in a game.
• The Union pitching staff was dominant on the afternoon. Perkins set a new career-high with her 10 strikeout performance in game one, while Schauer was magnificent in game two. In all, Schauer retired 21 of the last 22 batters in the game for Montreat, and ended the game retiring nine in a row.
The Lady Bulldogs hit the road on Thursday, and travel to Berea (Ky.) for an out-of-conference doubleheader. First pitch for game one is scheduled for 5 p.m.