Last updated on April 14, 2019
By Jim Hayes
After dropping two spots to fourth place in the Tennessee Community College Athletic Association softball standings, the Volunteer State Community College Lady Pioneers will travel to Jackson State Community College for a four-game series this weekend.
The Pioneers dropped three of four games at Walters State Community College March 22 and 23, by scores of 10-9 and 10-1 on Saturday before losing the first game 3-1 and taking the second 6-4 on Sunday.
“It comes down to whether or not we get the hits when we need them,” said Johnny Lynn, Vol State head coach.
“When it comes right down to it, you’ve got to do your job every day. Sure, you’re not going to get the big hit every game. You can’t rely on that,” he said.
Pioneer pitcher Tara Cates lasted just 1.2 innings in the series’ first game, giving up eight earned runs on seven hits. After being staked to a first-inning 1-0 lead, Cates gave up six first-inning runs and then two more in the second.
After Cate’s replacement, Peyton MacLeod hit a batter to bring home Walter’s final run of the inning.
The Pioneers managed to score one run in the third inning and then seven in the fifth to tie the game at 9-9.
MacLeod then walked home the winning run in the bottom of the seventh to give Walters a 10-9 win.
Vol State first baseman Ali King had four RBIs in the series’ final game to give the Pioneers the win. King and Cates each homered in the game.
Cates pitched six scoreless innings in relief of starter Maggie Savage, who gave up four first-inning runs- including a home run.
The three losses dropped the Vols from second to a tie for fourth place in the conference.
After a series this past weekend with Southwest Tennessee Community College, Vol State will turn its attention to Jackson State, currently sitting in seventh place in the conference.
Jackson has five starters batting over .300. Emma Simpson, their leading pitcher has a 3.37 ERA and a 2-3 conference record.
Overall, the Jackson pitching staff has a 5.63 ERA as compared to the Lady Vols 3.25 mark.
As a team, the Pioneers are hitting .313 while Jackson has managed only a .270 batting average.
The Pioneer offense may get a boost if the health of third-baseman Emma Bayford and outfielder Kennedy Acklin increases, both of whom have been playing injured.