Marathon finale gives Lady Bucks series win over Cleveland State
Jesse Beasenburg and Skylar Rinehart drove in the tying and winning runs in the 11th inning Saturday to lead the Motlow State Lady Bucks to a 10-9 win over Cleveland State, clinching a 3-1 series win for Motlow over the Lady Cougars in Cleveland, Tenn.
Motlow (11-10, 5-3) will travel to Roane State (4-12, 2-6) this weekend for a TCCAA four-game series in Harriman, with doubleheaders scheduled for both Friday and Saturday. The Lady Bucks currently sit alone in fourth place in the TCCAA conference standings.
The series against Cleveland didn’t get off to a very good start Friday afternoon, with the home team taking game one 13-0. The Lady Bucks came back strong though, winning Friday’s second game 3-1. Motlow then swept Saturday’s action, winning the first game 8-7, then capturing the finale and the series with the 10-9 victory.
Game one was all Cleveland State, with the Lady Cougars scoring eight runs in the first inning and five more in the fourth. Motlow managed seven hits and a pair of walks but stranded seven baserunners. Madison Hopkins and Kendall Durard each had two hits for the Lady Bucks. Autumn Davis (2-1) started the game in the circle and took the loss, with Jennifer Corbitt pitching the final 3.1 innings.
Cleveland State took an early lead in game two, scoring a run in the bottom of the fourth inning. However, the Lady Bucks scored an unearned run in the fifth, Beasenburg doubled home Haley Hinshaw in the sixth, and Morgan Smith drove home Lexi Chadwell with a fielder’s choice in the seventh.
Heidi Durham started in the circle for Motlow and pitched outstanding, allowing one hit and two walks before being relieved by Sam King in the fourth. King (4-2) was just as effective and got the win, allowing one hit with five strikeouts in her four innings of work.
Saturday’s opener saw Motlow jump out to an 8-1 lead heading into the bottom of the seventh inning before the Lady Cougars came roaring back with six runs of their own before Motlow shut down the rally. Hopkins drove home what proved to be the winning run with a seventh-inning single, scoring Durard and Chadwell.
Hopkins led the offense from the top of the batting order, going 2-4 with a double and three RBI. Smith, Hinshaw, King, and Beasenburg each had two hits. King started and picked up the win, allowing just one earned run with four strikeouts. Durard pitched the final 1.1 innings, giving up six hits and six runs.
The series finale went back and forth before Motlow scored four runs in the top of the seventh inning to send the game into extra innings. Neither team could muster a run until the 11th, with the Lady Bucks scoring two before Cleveland came back in the bottom of the inning to scored one before Motlow sealed the win.
Down 1-0 in the third, Kylie Thackerson drove home Aly Lemberger to tie the score at one. Down 2-1 in the fifth, Thackerson slammed a triple, driving home Smith and tying the score 2-2. Hinshaw then homered, her third of the season, driving home Thackerson and giving Motlow a 4-2 lead. Cleveland came right back in the bottom of the fifth, scoring four runs to take a 6-4 lead. The Lady Cougars added two more runs in the sixth and led 8-4 heading into the seventh.
Beasenburg stepped up and cranked a three-run homer in the seventh, scoring Thackerson and Hinshaw. Durard then scored as Corbitt reached on an error to tie the score and send it into extra innings, setting the stage for Beasenburg and Rinehart to win it in the 11th inning.
Corbitt (3-3) got the win in the circle, pitching nine innings and allowing nine hits and three earned runs with 0 walks. Durham and Davis each pitched an inning.