Blackwood throws no-hitter, CU goes 1-2 in Mobile Classic
MOBILE, Ala. – Allison Blackwood tossed a no-hitter in Cumberland University’s first game in the University of Mobile Classic Friday, leading the Bulldogs to a 1-0 victory over No. 19 Notre Dame College. Cumberland was handed a 4-2 loss by Reinhardt College and 9-0 defeat at the hands of the host Lady Rams, who are ranked 18th.
On the day, Caity Gray and Christina Manis were the only Cumberland players with more than one hit, recording three and two, respectively.
Only a dropped popup with two outs in the first inning prevented the Blackwood from throwing a perfect game in just her third collegiate start. The freshman struck out six Falcons, improving to 3-0 on the year.
“I really wasn’t expecting to throw a no-hitter,” Blackwood, who has never thrown a no-hitter at any level, said. “Right before the game, coach kept telling us they were a good-hitting team. I just went out there and tried to throw my best. After the game I tried to play it off like it was just another game when Caity (Gray) told me that I had done it.”
Cumberland (4-5) took advantage of pitching mistakes in the bottom of the first inning to plate a single run and made the lead hold up behind Blackwood’s pitching performance and quality defense.
Manis led off the frame with a bunt single and moved to second on a passed ball during Victoria Bennett’s at bat. The center fielder eventually walked, and both runners moved up one base on a wild pitch from Meredith Harbarger. Before Stephanie Gutierrez followed with a free pass of her own, Manis scored on another passed ball. Megan Lavery also drew a walk in the inning, but the Bulldogs were unable to scratch out any more runs, leaving the bases full.
In all Cumberland managed five hits and left eight runners on base, including two each in the second and third, and after the first inning the Bulldogs weren’t able to advance past second.
Reinhardt College 4, Cumberland 2
The theme of missed opportunities continued in the Bulldogs’ second game as Cumberland stranded 11 base runners, tying a season-high, in a two-run loss to Reinhardt College.
After CU left three runners on base in the top of the first, Bailey Arnaud led off the home-half of the frame with a double off Blackwood. Two batters later Arnaud scored on another Lady Falcon double and Reinhardt added an RBI single to take a 2-0 lead after one.
In the third, Nicholson put the Bulldogs on the board with a single to shallow right that plated Manis, who reached on a walk and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Shannel Nolen. Nicholson and Blackwood, who was one of four Bulldogs issued a walk in the contest, were left standing on the bases at the end of the inning.
The Lady Falcons answered right back, scoring a run on three hits in their part of the inning.
The teams again matched runs in the fifth with Blackwood scoring on Gray’s single. Stephanie Gutierrez and Megan Lavery also had singles in the frame, but a leadoff triple came home in the bottom of the inning when Andrea Thibeaudeau singled. Cumberland prevented another run cutting down Kimber Beard, who was trying to steal home.
Blackwood suffered the loss in the circle, her first of the year, scattering seven hits and giving up three runs, all of which were earned, in four innings. CaSarah Gilliam worked the final two innings, allowing the final run.
No. 18 Univ. of Mobile 9, Cumberland 0 (5 innings)
The Bulldogs managed just one hit in a mercy rule defeat to No. 18 University of Mobile.
Cumberland batters struck out 16 times and the Bulldog defense committed a season-high six errors, three of which came in a three-run second inning for the Lady Rams.
Mobile also benefited from an error in the third inning, when the home team scored six more runs.
Gray took the loss in the circle, and Amber Mayne had the only hit of the contest for the Bulldogs.
Cumberland will play at Gulf Coast Community College Sunday before taking a week off for Spring Break. Cumberland plays host to the University of Rio Grande on March 14 in a doubleheader starting at 1 p.m.