Maynard tosses shutout in opener
Wednesday, May 2, 2012
Maynard tosses shutout in opener
Caity Gray recorded three hits and two RBIs in CU's 7-0 victory over Blue Mountain on Wednesday. (Credit Steve Wampler)

JACKSON, Tenn. – Courtney Maynard tossed a two-hit shutout and Caity Gray collected three hits and drove in two runs, as Cumberland scored seven runs in their final two at-bats in a 7-0 victory over Blue Mountain in the TranSouth Championships here Wednesday night at the West Tennessee Healthcare Sportsplex.

With the victory the Bulldogs (27-20-1) advance to play top-seed and 13th-ranked Union University on Thursday at 6 p.m.

Maynard (18-8) retired the first nine batters of the game before giving up a pair of singles in the fourth inning to the Toppers (18-27). She walked the first batter of the fifth and hit the next one, but those were the only baserunners for BMC, who stranded five in the game.

Sydney Broderick’s two-run single and Emily Nicholson’s run-scoring single gave CU a 3-0 edge in the fifth. Gray singled in the first and third innings and drove in a pair of runs with a double in the sixth. Allison Blackwood followed with a two-run homer to rightcenter, more than enough for Maynard.

Hailey Beckham (10-12) took the loss for BMC, giving up six runs on nine hits in 5.2 innings. She walked two and struck out two.

The Bulldogs got a single from Gray and a walk to Blackwood in the first inning but stranded both runners with a groundout from Broderick and a strikeout by Nicholson.

Neither team had a good scoring chance until the Toppers in the fourth after a leadoff single from Kimmy Nicholson and a sacrifice bunt by Meggin Nelson. Haylei Plummer then lined a single into short left, off the glove of a diving Kaleigh Pearce, putting runners on the corners.

BMC tried the squeeze with Whitney Hardwick, but Maynard pounced on the bunt and Nicholson was out sliding into the plate. Brooke Jones gounded to second, ending the inning with the game still scoreless.

The Bulldogs got on the board in the bottom of the inning, starting with a one-out single by Megan Lavery. Gray then bounced to short and Lavery slid into the bag before the flip to the bag by Jones.

Blackwood walked, loading the bases, before a two-run single to short leftcenter by Broderick. Nicholson then singled to rightcenter, plating pinch-runner Amber Mayne for a 3-0 advantage.

Pearce led off the sixth with a walk for CU and Lavery singled to center with two outs. Gray then doubled off the centerfielder’s head, scoring two runs and ending the day for Beckham. Blackwood greeted reliever Brooke Denton with a line drive two-run homer to rightcenter on the first pitch for a 7-0 Cumberland lead.