Pikeville, Ky. – Shawnee State softball picked up a pair of pivotal Mid-South Conference wins, defeating Pikeville 5-2 in game one and 4-1 in game two in today's doubleheader.
The Bears would strike first in game one, scoring in the top of the fourth inning. Tara Duncan (SR/Lancaster, Ohio) would steal home in the top of the fourth to give the Bears the lead. Shawnee State would strike for one again in the fifth inning, when Duncan would hit a sacrifice fly to left field to drive in Haley Rawlins (FR/South Point, Ohio).
The Bears would score in the top of the sixth when Ashtyn Saunders (FR/Lancaster, Ohio) would drive in MacKenzie Riley with a squeeze bunt. After Pikeville scored one in the bottom of the sixth, but the Bears would get the run back in the top of the seventh. Kayla Koch (JR/Lucasville, Ohio) would hit her fourth home run of the season in the top of the inning, and the Bears would add another insurance run on another Ashtyn Saunders squeeze.
The Bears would need the runs as Pikeville would threaten to tie the game in the bottom of the seventh. Destiny Molden would start the inning with a single, and would reach third on a double by Lindsay Floyd. Molden would score on Ashley Goines' single, and Pikeville would bring the tying run to the plate. However, Shawnee State pitcher Brooke Blevins (FR/Frankfort, Ohio) would bear down and record the final three outs to escape the jam and preserve the SSU victory.
Blevins would get the win with a complete game, allowing two runs on seven hits and recording five strikeouts. Hannah Skaggs would also throw a complete game, allowing five runs, of which three were earned, on nine hits in seven innings.
Pikeville would get the scoring started in game two when Jordan Gentry would score on a wild pitch by SSU starting pitcher McKenzie Whittaker (SO/McDermott, Ohio). However, Whittaker would dominate from there, holding Pikeville to just the one run.
Shawnee State would take the lead in the top of the third inning. Miranda Melvin (SR/Oak Hill, Ohio) would reach first on an error by Pikeville's Kitty Raymond, and pinch runner Madi Phillips (SO/Portsmouth, Ohio) would steal second. Ashtyn Saunders would move Phillips to third on a bunt single, and both Phillips and Saunders would score one batter later on wild throw by Hannah Thacker. Haley Rawlins, who reached second on the throw, would score later in the inning on Tara Duncan's single.
Shawnee State would add one more run in the sixth, when Melvin would single home MacKenzie Riley.
McKenzie Whittaker would pick up the win, allowing only one run on four hits in a seven inning complete game effort. Pikeville's Hannah Thacker would allow four runs on eight hits, also going the distance.
With the wins, Shawnee State improves to 12-9 on the season and are now 6-6 in the Mid-South Conference. The Bears are now in third place in the league, holding a three game advantage over Georgetown in the win column for the third spot. Pikeville falls to 9-21, and are 1-11 in the conference.
Shawnee State return to action on Friday, March 31st when they travel to Columbia, Kentucky for another pivotal four game set with #11 Lindsey Wilson. First pitch for Friday's game one is scheduled for 3:00pm.