CU sweeps Covenant
Saturday, February 25, 2012

LEBANON, Tenn. – Cumberland scored two runs with four straight hits to win the opener and Courtney Maynard picked up her fifth victory in the circle, striking out eight in the second game in Cumberland’s sweep of Covenant College on Saturday, 6-5 and 6-2, at the CU Softball Field.

The Bulldogs (7-3) swept a doubleheader for the second time this season after splitting the last three twinbills.

Consecutive singles from Megan Lavery, Caity Gray, Allison Blackwood and Sydney Broderick to start the seventh inning scored two runs to give CU a 6-5 win in the first game. Lavery, Blackwood and Broderick all recorded two hits in the game and Gray scored twice, including the game-winner on Broderick’s deep drive that sailed over the rightfielder’s head.

Gray (2-0) also picked up the win on the mound, though she gave up the tying and go-ahead runs in the fifth and sixth innings before her teammates saved her in the seventh. She allowed two runs on two hits with three walks and one strikeout in three innings of work. Game one starter Blackwood gave up three runs on four hits in four innings.

Maynard (5-0) was the story in the second game, as she has been in four of her five starts this season. The redshirt sophomore from Lancaster, Tenn., allowed seven hits and one earned run with one walk and eight strikeouts, lowering her team-best earned-run-average to 1.97 in 32.0 innings of work this year.

Broderick added three more hits in the second game, as CU scored four times in the first inning and added single runs in the fifth and sixth to close out the doubleheader sweep.

In the first game the Bulldogs started quickly with three runs in the first, as Lavery walked and Gray reached on a throwing error by the catcher on a bunt. Blackwood walked, loading the bases, and Emily Nicholson plated a run with a groundout. Sarah Murray’s two-run single to right gave CU a 3-0 lead after an inning.

But the Scots (1-3) tied the game with three runs in the fourth, starting with a leadoff homer from Beth Harris. Lauren Johns walked with one out and Morgan Booker singled to left. With two outs Chandler Shepherd struck out but reached on a wild pitch, loading the bases, before a two-run single to left from Meagan Hess tied the game at three.

Harris led off the fifth inning against Gray with another solo homer. In the Covenant sixth Hess walked to leadoff and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Karen McElwee. Harris’ two-out double to right pushed across Hess for a 6-5 Scots advantage. Chelsea Krafft took the loss for Covenant, allowing six runs, two earned, on eight hits in six-plus innings. She walked two and struck out five.

Harris homered to leftcenter in the first inning of the second game, but the Bulldogs answered with four runs in the bottom half, starting when Lavery reached on an error and stole second. She scored on Gray’s single to center, tying the game at one.

Broderick’s plated Gray with a one-out single to leftcenter and Nicholson followed with an RBI double. Murray reached on another error and the third error of the inning for Covenant, this one on a grounder by Kaleigh Pearce, pushed across Nicholson for a 4-1 CU edge.

The Scots cut into the deficit in the third when Shepherd reached on an error, stole second and scored on Courtney Wagoner’s single to rightcenter.

The Bulldogs added insurance runs in the fifth and sixth innings, as Pearce doubled to right with one out in the fifth and scored on Lavery’s two-out single to left. In the sixth Broderick singled with one out before a fielder’s choice by Nicholson, who stole second and scored on a single to center from Kacy Hobbs.

Cumberland hosts St. Catharine College in a doubleheader at 1 p.m. on Thursday before opening TranSouth Conference play on March 3 at Lyon College.