Kassydi Montgomery and Tessa Tomaselli belted home runs and Leah Newsome picked up her first win in the second game and Vienna Benavides went 6-for-6 in the doubleheader sweep for Cumberland over Shawnee State, 8-0 and 4-3, in softball action Saturday at the CU Softball Field.
The Bulldogs (6-10, 2-0 Mid-South) scored five times in the fourth inning and three runs in the fifth to end the opener early. CU trailed 1-0 headed to the fifth in the second contest before Montgomery’s line drive tied the game. Benavides followed with a single before Tomaselli’s first homer of the season made it a 3-1 lead for the home team.
Cumberland added an insurance run in the sixth, which came in handy in the final inning when the Bears (4-4, 0-2) used two hits and two walks as well as a sacrifice fly to cut the deficit to one. Newsome got the final two outs, the last one on a groundout to Tomaselli, to preserve the win.
Newsome tossed 6.2 innings, allowing one run on four hits with one walk and two strikeouts. Crystal Bryant started the seventh, but Newsome came on the clean up the mess for her first victory of the season.
SSU’s Alex Bowers (1-2) gave up four runs on seven hits with two strikeouts in the defeat.
Benavides was 3-for-3 in both contests, driving in a run and scoring once in the opener and scoring again in the second game.
Madison Gonzalez, Katelyn Nowakowski, Sydney Broderick and Benavides all plated runs with singles in the five-run fourth innings for the Bulldogs in the opener. Brittany Rasmussen drove home two runs with a double and then scored on Montgomery’s single two batters later to end the game.
Kristen Abell tossed a three-hit shutout in the win, walking two and striking out three. SSU’s Allie Chapman (2-2) suffered the loss, allowing eight runs on 14 hits with six strikeouts.
Abell stranded four runners in the first three innings before Cumberland finally broke through in the fourth in the opener.
Benavides led off with a single and Tomaselli doubled to leftcenter before a bloop single from Gonzalez down the rightfield line plated a run. Nowakowski then bunted right in front of the plate, with Tomaselli scoring on the play, and Broderick followed with a two-run single to right.
Rasmussen also singled and Brianna Gregory reached on an error, loading the bases for Benavides, who collected her second hit of the inning to drive home the final run of the frame.
In the fifth Nowakowski singled to center with one out and Delgado had a check-swing single to left with two outs, setting up Rasmussen, who doubled to rightcenter, scoring two runs. Montgomery’s soft single off the glove of the shortstop into leftcenter two batters later plated Rasmussen for the final run in an 8-0 victory.
Neither team did much in the first three frames in the second contest until the fourth when SSU’s Abbi Sparks led off with a single and Morgan McReynolds bunted. Montgomery tried to get the runner at second, but the throw was late, putting two on with nobody out.
Kelsey Jenkins moved the runners to second and third with a sacrifice bunt and Rachel Ash followed with an RBI single into short rightcenter, part of her 3-for-3 effort in the contest. That scored a run, but Newsome got a soft lineout to third and a popout to end the inning without any further damage.
Cumberland took the lead in the fifth thanks to the long ball, starting with Montgomery’s two-out line drive over the wall in leftcenter, her third home run of the season. Benavides singled to left before Tomaselli’s lifted a 1-0 pitch over the wall in left, her first of the year, for a 3-1 advantage.
In the sixth Giselle Delgado reached on a throwing error by SSU shortstop Hannah Dittoe and pinch-runner Alisa Walker went to second on Broderick’s sac bunt. Gregory lifted a soft single into center, but Walker had to hold up on the play, putting runners on the corners. The throw from centerfielder Jenkins got away at the plate, allowing Walker to score a very important insurance run.
Bryant struggled with her control in the seventh after allowing singled to Ash and Jordyn Pennington to start the inning. She walked Miranda Melvin, loading the bases, before getting a ground ball back to the circle, where she forced out the runner at the plate. Another walk to Hannah Thacker forced in a run and she fell behind Dittoe 3-and-1, prompting a change.
Dittoe flied to deep right against Newsome, driving in a run, before the final groundout from Sparks preserved the victory.
The same two teams finish the four-game series Sunday beginning at 11 a.m. before the Bulldogs play six games next week, all on the road.