Despite comeback, CU drops two
LEBANON, Tenn. – Christian Brothers’ Nikki Dunn picked up two victories on the mound and scored the winning run in the ninth inning, as the Lady Bucs swept a doubleheader, 3-0 and 7-6, against Cumberland Sunday afternoon at the CU Softball Field.
Cumberland (2-8) posted a season-high 11 hits in the second contest and scored three times in the fifth to take the lead, 5-4, only to watch CBU (8-4) plate a pair of runs in the seventh to retake the lead. But Karla Pladna’s solo homer in the bottom of the seventh sent the game into extra innings.
Per the international tiebreaker rule, Dunn started the ninth inning on second base and Kathleen Nelson moved her to second on a sacrifice. Victoria Matthews, who recorded six hits in the twinbill, followed with an infield single, before a safety squeeze by Jessica Ambers. Dunn raced home on the play with the go-ahead run.
Paige Terrell began the bottom of the ninth at second for the Bulldogs and quickly moved to third on a wild pitch, but three straight popups end the game for CU.
Dunn (7-1) tossed a three-hit shutout in the opener, walking one and striking out nine. In the second contest she was the third hurler for the Lady Bucs, working 4.2 innings of relief and giving up one run on three hits with four strikeouts.
Bulldog starter Alli Donnelly (0-3) threw well in the first game, giving up three runs on eight hits with four walks and two strikeouts. Stephanie Gutierrez (1-4) worked the entire second contest, allowing nine hits with six walks and two strikeouts.
Gutierrez collected a pair of hits in both contests, while Pladna went 3-for-4 with two runs and two RBIs in the second game. Jackie West also had two hits and three RBIs in game two, while Lauren Carr scored twice.
In the opener the Lady Bucs scored once in the fifth after Dunn drew a leadoff walk and Nelson followed with a sacrifice bunt. Matthews then reached out and poked a double down the leftfield line, plating Dunn for a 1-0 CBU lead.
In the sixth CBU’s Alyse Brewer drew a one-out walk and Brooke Davis followed with a bunt single. Michelle Paul then singled into shallow centerfield, loading the bases for Dunn, who singled just over the head of third baseman Gutierrez, driving home one run.
Nelson then singled to left as well, scoring Davis for a 3-0 Lady Bucs advantage.
In the second contest CBU had a quick start, scoring three times in the first. Matthews singled to leadoff and scored two batters later on an infield hit by Casey King. Singles by Kallie McFatter and Brewer loaded the bases before a two-out RBI single from Stephanie Keaton. A bases-loaded walk to Dunn forced in the third run of the frame.
CU got one run back in the bottom of the inning after a one-out walk to Carr and a two-out single from Pladna. West’s single to center plated Carr, cutting the deficit to 3-1.
The Bulldogs scored again in the third after Carr and Gutierrez both singled with one out and Pladna walked, loading the bases. West’s groundout scored Carr, making it a one-run game.
In the CBU fifth Matthews led off with a walk, moved to second on a sacrifice by Ambers and scored on McFatter’s single to leftcenter.
Terrell led off the CU fifth with a single and Gutierrez had a one-out single, putting runners on the corners. Pladna followed with an RBI double and West executed the suicide squeeze, scoring Gutierrez. Brewer’s bad throw to first allowed Pladna to score on the play, giving the Bulldogs a 5-4 advantage.
Matthews was again a thorn in the side to start the seventh, doubling down the leftfield line before another sacrifice from Ambers. King lined out to center and Matthews just beat the throw from Terrell, sliding head-first under the tag of catcher Emily Smith.
McFatter and Brewer both followed with free passes and moved up on a wild pitch. Brooke Davis then grounded to shortstop McKinney, who tried to tag the runner but had to throw to third to get the out. McFatter scored before the tag and because there was no force and she did not throw across the get the batter, the run counted, giving CBU a 6-5 lead.
But Pladna homered over the leftfield wall with one out in the seventh to tie the game at six, sending it into extra innings.
Cumberland hosts Tennessee Wesleyan in a doubleheader at 1 p.m. Tuesday at the CU Softball Field.