Blackwood's single gives CU split with FHU
Saturday, March 24, 2012
Blackwood's single gives CU split with FHU
Allison Blackwood homered and singled home the winning run in CU's 3-2 victory Saturday against Freed-Hardeman. (Credit John L. Sloan)

LEBANON, Tenn. – Allison Blackwood’s RBI single with two outs in the eighth scored the game-winning run in Cumberland’s 3-2 victory in the second game of the doubleheader Saturday against Freed-Hardeman. CU dropped the first game 5-1, a contest that included an almost two-hour rain delay.

Blackwood provided all of the runs in the contest for the Bulldogs (19-7, 9-3 TranSouth), hitting a two-run homer in the fourth inning to tie the contest at two. Her chopper into centerfield with two outs in the eighth plated Autumn Collins, who began the inning at second base because of the international tiebreaker rule.

Courtney Maynard (12-1) picked up the victory for CU, giving up one earned run on six hits with three walks and six strikeouts. The righthander worked out of jams in the fifth and sixth innings and stranded FHU’s Brittany Yates at third base in the eighth, getting a strikeout and a popout to end the inning.

Cumberland managed just five hits in the win against FHU’s Sarah Elizabeth Cousar (5-4), who walked one and struck out five while giving up just one earned run. Other than the fourth, the Bulldogs had just one inning with multiple baserunners after Victoria Bennett doubled and Collins was hit in the sixth, but Cousar got a popout and a groundout to end the threat.

Freed-Hardeman (11-12, 4-6) scored five runs on three hits, and error and a wild pitch in the first inning of the opening game. The contest featured a one-hour-and-44-minute rain delay before the top of the third.

Tiffany Tucker (4-6) posted the victory for FHU, allowing one run on six hits with one walk and two strikeouts. She faced just four batters over the minimum after the first inning and no runner reached third base during that stretch.

CU starter Caity Gray (2-2) took the loss, facing three batters and retiring none. The Lions scored five times in the first inning but had just two runners reach third base the rest of the game. Blackwood tossed seven innings of relief for CU, scattering eight hits and giving up two runs with two walks and four strikeouts.

The Lions scored five times in the first inning in the opener to take an early lead, sending nine batters to the plate in the inning.

Cousar walked and Shelby Cummings doubled to rightfield against Gray, who was called for a balk, plating a run, and another scored on a wild pitch.

Yates then walked and Amber Vansandt sacrificed her to second base. With two outs Bailey Morgan singled to left, plating Yates, before Kamara Trice hit a two-run homer to rightcenter for a 5-0 advantage after a half inning.

The Bulldogs got a run back in the bottom of the inning and could have had more.

With one out Gray was hit and Blackwood followed with a single before Sydney Broderick walked, loading the bases. Sarah Murray fisted a single into short leftcenter, scoring a run, but Emily Nicholson’s fielder’s choice forced out Blackwood at the plate and Kaleigh Pearce struck out to end the inning.

Neither team mustered many scoring opportunities after the rain delay, with only one FHU runner reaching third base and none for the Bulldogs.

The Lions scored first in the second game as well after back-to-back doubles from Vansandt and Mercedes Norfork. Morgan then reached on an error by Pearce, allowing Norfork to reach third. Morgan was thrown out stealing second, but Norfork scored on the play for a 2-0 FHU advantage.

CU tied the game in the bottom of the inning, with Gray reaching on an error by Cummings at second base before Blackwood laced a two-run homer over the wall in leftcenter, her sixth of the season.

Both teams missed scoring chances in the later innings, starting with the Lions.

Cousar and Cummings both singled with one out in the fifth, but Yates and Vansandt both grounded out to end the inning. In the sixth Morgan singled and Trice walked with one out, but Summer Cole popped out and Caneisha Turner struck out to end the threat.

Cumberland hosts Martin Methodist in a 2 p.m. doubleheader Wednesday and takes on 11th-ranked Union University next Saturday and Davenport University on Sunday, April 1, both at home.