The Cleveland State softball team ended its regular season with two huge Region VII Conference wins over Motlow State on Tuesday afternoon and in the process secured the fifth seed in the upcoming TCCAA Tournament to be held in Chattanooga.
The Lady Cougars (21-19, 9-9) used two great pitching performances and timely hitting as they took game one by a final score of 5-4 and then finished the sweep with a 5-2 win in the back end of the twin bill.
“These were two huge wins for us today,” said Lady Cougar coach Katie Willingham. “We needed to win these two to get the fifth seed and we did just that. We got the hits at the right times and Meghan pitched well in the first game and Kenly kept the hitters off balance and threw an incredible game in game two.”
Casey Griffin singled and scored in the bottom of the first inning of game as Maura Ditto knocked her in for a 1-0 Cleveland State lead.
Amber Covington added to the Cleveland State lead in the second frame with a two-run double and Sydney Howell and Ditto added an RBI hit each in the fourth to extend the lead to 5-2 after allowing a pair of unearned Lady Buck runs in the third.
Motlow State mounted a rally in the fifth inning, cutting the lead to only 5-4, but the comeback would end there as Meghan Smith put out the fire to get the win in game one. Roxeanne Hillman took the loss for Motlow. Griffin, Covington and Ditto had two hits apiece to lead Cleveland State.
Ditto got the Lady Cougars off and running in game two with an RBI single in the bottom of the first. Devin Fish drew a walk and came around to score in the second on a single by Griffin for a 2-0 lead.
Ashlen Mitchell came up with the big hit in the fourth, a two-run, two-out double, and Shelby Hanson added a sacrifice fly to push another run across for a 5-0 lead.
Once again, the Lady Bucks attempted a late-inning comeback as they scored twice in their last turn at the dish, but Kenly Lambert, who had taken a no-hitter into the seventh inning, was able to record the last out and secure the win and the sweep.
“We left 12 runners on base and could have scored more runs,” the coach continued. “But, overall we got the wins and hopefully we can carry this momentum over into the tournament.”
Lambert picked up the win, allowing only one hit and no earned runs while Kayla Green took the loss for Motlow. Covington led the way with four hits while Mitchell had two.
The Lady Cougars will now take a week off and turn their attention toward the tournament.