Union Overcome 2-0 Deficit to win 3-2 To Gain Double Header Sweep
DAYTON, Tenn. – After falling 6-0 in game one of Tuesday’s home Appalachian Athletic Conference doubleheader to Union College (Ky.), the Bryan College softball team spread a few lone runs in the third and fifth innings of the nightcap and entered the final frame with a 2-0. Unfortunately, the visiting Bulldogs gained the only rally they needed in the top of the seventh, registering three runs on three hits and a pair of Bryan errors where they held on for the come-from-behind 3-2 win and the AAC sweep, marking the seventh straight victory for the Bulldogs. The Lions dropped their overall record to 5-11 and conference record to 2-2 while the Bulldogs improved to 14-9 overall and 4-0 in AAC play.
Union 6 Bryan 0
Union managed to hold Bryan to only three hits in the opening contest. Gathering the three hits were Austyn Durham, Hannah O’Shields, and Maryah Sober. Durham’s traveled for a double, which was the team’s only extra-base hit. The Bulldogs produced 11 connections and struck first in the top of the second inning with a two-run triple that followed up a pair of singles to claim a 2-0 edge.
Union added to their lead in the fifth when back-to-back singles and a walk loaded the bases with no outs. Bryan got the Bulldogs to hit into a fielder’s choice for out number one and prevented the runner from third scoring. On another fielder’s choice, the Lions were unable to keep the Bulldogs from reaching home, as the difference grew to 3-0 after five innings of play.
A three-spot in the top of the sixth helped Union pull away from Bryan. The inning began with a lead-off double to left-center. The first run of the stanza was driven in with an RBI single to center. Another double placed runners on second and third before a single to right resulted in the two final runs of the game being scored, as Union took the 6-0 decision.
Sydney West received the loss after dealing the first five frames, surrendering six hits and three runs to the Bulldogs while walking three and striking out four. The last two frames were tossed by Gabriella Merced who had five hits and three runs come against her.
Union 3 Bryan 2
The Lions broke open the scoring in game two with one run produced in the bottom of the third. Allison Walker began Bryan’s turn with a walk before taking second on Destiny McSwain’s sacrifice bunt. Two consecutive singles delivered by Sydney Olander and Durham, respectively, brought Allison in for the 1-0 lead.
Bryan stranded two Union players on in the top of the fourth, eluding the threat for a scoreless inning. The Lions turned a quick three and out on defense in the fifth and went to work in the bottom of the frame for their last run of the outing. McSwain sparked the score with a triple to deep right-center, marking the first triple of the freshman’s season. Heidi Smith was up next and grounded out to short, but it gave McSwain enough time to reach home to go on top 2-0.
The Lions shut down the Bulldogs with a double play to bring a quick end to the top of the sixth. Bryan saw singles from Lindsey Dunn and Brooke Ford in the bottom of the inning but were unable to capitalize, leaving the home squad with a two-run lead and needing only three outs to capture the split.
The game-changing moment occurred in the top of the seventh when a single up the middle from Union was followed by a dropped fly ball committed by Bryan, scoring the Bulldogs’ first run with the tying run on first. With two outs, the pressure steadily climbed when a single to left advanced the runner to scoring position at third, but another costly mistake in the form of a misplayed grounder was taken advantage of with Union evening the count 2-2. The batter was able to take second when another single propelled the Bulldogs in front 3-2 for their first lead of the game. A fly out to right finally capped Union’s rally, but the damage had already been done. Walker singled up the middle, and Olander was walked in the bottom of the seventh, but Bryan was unable to answer, leaving Union with the 3-2 comeback.
West received her second loss in the circle on the day after pitching the last two outs, allowing two hits and two runs with only one earned, dropping her record to 3-7 on the year. Olivia Johnson managed the first 6.1 innings, as the Bulldogs collected eight hits and a lone run with no walks and three strikeouts during that stretch.
Olander had a team-high two hits, followed by McSwain’s lone connection that soared for a triple. Durham, Dunn, Ford, and Walker ended with one hit apiece while Smith and Durham tallied the team’s two RBIs.
Bryan gets a break from conference play with a trip to Martin Methodist College (Tenn.) on Wednesday, Mar. 13. The first pitch of the doubleheader is scheduled for 4pm. The RedHawks will enter the non-conference tilt with an 8-7 overall record after taking the series 2-1 from previously 19th-ranked Faulkner University (Ala.).
For the full 2019 Bryan College softball schedule, click here.