Lady Cougars split with nationally-ranked Walters State
by By BRYAN GRISHAM CSCC Sports Information Director
Mar 30, 2013 | 394 views | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend | print
MORRISTOWN — The Cleveland State softball team packed their bats and headed north for a big Region VII Conference weekend four-game series with the nationally 16th ranked Lady Senators of Walters State.

The Lady Cougars managed to split their two games on Friday afternoon, falling 9-0 in the first game and bouncing back in game two to come out on top in a slugfest, 9-6. Information on the Saturday games will be in Monday’s edition of the Banner.

The Lady Cougars broke out the big bats in game two of the day as they won the back and forth affair in dramatic last-at-bat fashion. Sara O'Rear singled and came around to score the first run of the game in the top of the first on a Lady Senator miscue for a 1-0 lead.

The Lady Senators took a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the frame on RBI knocks from Andrea Elson and Lindsey Price and tacked on another run in the bottom of the third as Elson added another RBI single to her totals for a 3-1 advantage.

Sydney Howell dialed long distance for the Lady Cougars in the top of the fourth to slice the lead to one run at 3-2, but the home team got that run back in the bottom of the sixth as Hayley Taylor singled in a run for a 4-2 lead.

Trailing by two runs and down to their last three outs, the Lady Cougars mounted an amazing rally as they drove down the field and put a touchdown and extra point on the scoreboard to win the game.

Amber Swaney started the outburst by drawing a free pass. Leslie Still followed with a double and O'Rear doubled in both runners to tie the game at 4-4. Ciera Belcher then joined the hit parade with a single and she and O'Rear both trotted home as Maura Ditto crushed a two-run single to put the visitors on top 6-4. With the bases full of Lady Cougars after a pair of walks, Emily Huston then found a gap for a base clearing double and just like that the Lady Cougars had taken a 9-4 lead.

The Lady Senators mounted their own rally in the bottom of the seventh as Kendi King and Katelyn Stewart each singled in a run, but the Lady Cougars were finally able to record the last out and preserve the win.

Ida Watson went the distance for the Lady Cougars (8-15, 5-12) to get the win while Taylor Green took the loss for Walters State (19-5, 12-3).

"This was a great win against a very good team," said Lady Cougar coach Katie Willingham. "Against a team as good as Walters, we did a good job of not giving up and pushing ourselves. Ida did an amazing job today, she came out focused and it showed."

Lindsey Vaught was the story of game one as the Lady Senator ace hurler tossed a masterpiece at the Lady Cougars. Vaught was one hit shy (a single from Sara O'Rear) of a no-hitter as she dominated the game from start to finish.

The home team wasted no time as they gave Vaught more than enough run support in the bottom of the first inning. Two singles and a walk loaded the bases with one run crossing on a passed ball and another on a single by Kendi King. Katelyn King then unloaded the bases with one swing of her bat for a grand slam homer and a 6-0 Walters lead.

Courtney Hutcherson, Kendi King and Kaylea Payne all singled in a run for the Lady Senators in the second inning to push the lead to 9-0 and end game one in five innings. Kelsey Capella started in the circle for the Lady Cougars while Watson gave up only one hit in relief.