The Lady Cougars took a pair of extremely close extra inning wins over Jackson State on Friday, 2-1 and 3-2, but then dropped a pair of games to Columbia State Saturday by scores of 10-2 and 8-0.
On Friday, the Lady Cougars (17-17, 7-7) took a pair of extra inning wins from the Lady Generals by the slimmest of margins as pitching dominated play in both games all afternoon long.
Meghan Smith for the Lady Cougars and Paige French for Jackson hooked up for an old fashioned pitcher’s dual in game one as they took turns putting zeros on the board until the sixth inning.
Tiffany Keck put the visitors on top with a solo homer in the top of the sixth for the first run of the day, but the Lady Cougars came right back to tie the game in the bottom of the frame. Amber Covington singled, moved to second on an error and scored on a double from Maura Ditto to tie the contest at 1-1.
In the eighth, it was Covington starting the rally again with a single, Sydney Howell added a single to put her in scoring position and Ditto plated the game winner with another double to give the Lady Cougars the win in game one.
Smith tossed all eight innings allowing only four hits along the way while striking out 15 Lady Generals and walking only one to get the win. French took the loss for Jackson. Covington, Ditto and Fish all had two hits for Cleveland State.
The Lady Cougars struck first in game two as Covington doubled and scored on a single from Howell for a 1-0 lead.
The score stayed right there until the sixth when Tatia Guinn singled and scored in front of Keck who belted her second homer of the day to give the Lady Generals a 2-1 advantage.
Down to their last at-bat, the Lady Cougars tied the game in dramatic fashion in the bottom of the seventh to force extra innings for the second straight game. Kelly Sullins reached on an error, moved to second on a single from Kenzie Fish and scored on a double by Casey Griffin.
In the eighth, Ditto started a rally with a single, Shelby Hanson moved her to second with a nice sacrifice bunt and Halen Weeks singled in the winning run to finish game two and complete the sweep.
“They were not the prettiest wins, but any time you can get two conference wins you take them,” said Lady Cougar coach Katie Willingham. “This is a comeback team and they never gave up today. It took a while and we didn’t hit the ball, but we got them when we needed them. Meghan was fantastic on the mound.”
On Saturday, Columbia State jumped on top right out of the box with six big runs in the top of the first inning. Megan Sims tripled in a run, three singles plated two more runs and a three-run homer by Amber Lockridge finished the outburst. A solo homer in the fourth by Shelby Boyd pushed the lead to 7-0.
The Lady Cougars picked up a pair of runs in the bottom of the fourth as four hits and a walk accounted for the damage as Hanson contributed a two-run double to slice the lead to 7-2.
The Lady Chargers finished game one with three more runs in the sixth as Boyd smashed her second homer of the day. Kenly Lambert took the loss for the Lady Cougars while Danette Amar picked up the win for Columbia State.
Sims started the scoring in game two for the Lady Chargers with a two-run homer in the top of the third for a 2-0 lead. Boyd slammed her third homer of the day in the fourth, the three-run dinger extended the Columbia State lead to 5-0.
Blakely Robertson tacked on two more runs in the fifth with a two-run dinger and Rachel Curtis added a solo homer to push the Columbia lead to 8-0 and complete the sweep.
Lacie Patterson went the distance for Columbia State to get the win, tossing a shutout and allowing only four hits along the way.
The Lady Cougars will travel to Truett-McConnell on Monday for a pair of games.