HARROGATE, Tenn. — The Lady Railsplitters were shutdown in a 6-1 loss to the Catawba Indians in game one, as Carley Tysinger spun a five-hit complete game, but Lincoln Memorial bounced back for a 10-5 win in game two to earn a doubleheader split in South Atlantic Conference softball action at Dorothy Neely Field on Saturday.
The Lady Railsplitters improve to 24-15 overall and 10-8 in South Atlantic Conference play following the split.
Tysinger was completely dominant on the rubber for the Indians in the opener as she improved to 17-6 on the season by striking out 10 batters in a five-hit, complete-game gem. The only run the Lady Railsplitters mustered was in the bottom of the first as Kelly Dreier doubled with two outs, moved to third on a Payton Bruce single and scored on a wild pitch.
Tysinger allowed only four base runners the rest of the afternoon, and one of those runners reached successfully thanks to an error in the top of the fifth. Five of the last six outs Tysinger recorded were via the strikeout.
The Indians’ bats, meanwhile, provided plenty of run support to back Tysinger’s gem. Catawba erased LMU’s first-inning run in the top of the second as Gina Gerone and Katherine Shumaker connected on back-to-back solo home runs. The Indians bulged the lead to 5-1 in the fourth behind run-scoring singles off the bat of Taylor Adams, Morgan Brann and Natalie Naturile. The final run came across in the fifth as Tysinger tripled and scored on a Gerone sacrifice fly out.
Dreier led the Lady Railsplitters with two singles and a run scored.
Samantha Smith fell to 14-8 after relenting nine hits and six runs with two strikeouts in seven-strong innings of work.
The Lady Railsplitters finally found some offense as the afternoon transitioned to game two. After trading zeroes in the first frame, Lincoln Memorial careened out to a 4-0 advantage in the bottom of the second.
Most all of that production came with two outs as Meredith Johnson walked with one gone and Laura Taricano singled with two outs to put the Lady Railsplitters in business. A dropped foul ball allowed the inning to continue and extended the at-bat for Jaclyn Cokeroft, who loaded the bases with a single into left field. Emilee Solomon scored two with a single through the right side of the infield, while Brianna Mulkey bunted a single in front of the plate. Another error, this time by the Catawba catcher, allowed the fourth and final run to score.
The Indians took all four runs back and added another in the top of the third as Holli Chandler posted a run-scoring triple and scored on an error, Shumaker was plunked for an RBI hit-by-pitch, and Adams drove in two with a sacrifice fly out.
That would be all the Indians would get for the remainder of the game, though, while the Lady Railsplitters logged three runs in both the third and fifth innings. Kirstin Toole hit an RBI fielder’s choice, Taricano doubled in a run and Solomon scored a run with a sacrifice ground out to pace the third frame. Danae Reed drilled a run-scoring single into left in the fifth, and Moose concluded the scoring that inning with a two-run double down the left-field line.
Toole, meanwhile, polished off her complete game by allowing only three base runners in the final four innings. She sat the Indians down in order in the fifth and sixth frames, while stranding two runners on in the seventh. The De Bary, Fla., native improves to 6-6 after allowing only six hits and two earned runs in seven innings.
The Lady Railsplitters ripped 14 hits, led by Bruce’s 3-for-4 showing. Mulkey, Taricano and Solomon each added two hits apiece, while Solomon drove in three runs.
Prior to Saturday’s action on the field, the Lady Railsplitters celebrated Senior Day, honoring the careers of Brianna Mulkey, Danae Reed, Laura Taricano and Kirstin Toole in a pre-game ceremony.
The Lady Railsplitters kickoff the final week of the regular season on Tuesday with a South Atlantic Conference double dip at Mars Hill.