Cleveland State softball (7-6, 1-3) opened conference play at home on Saturday March 3 and Sunday March 4 vs. the Roane State Raiders winning game one 5-4 and then losing games two, three and four 7-5, 3-2 and 10-7 respectively.
Shiane Stockwell went the distance in the 5-4 win striking out 11 in moving her season record to a perfect 6-0. The Cougars banged out nine hits in coming back from a 1st inning 2-0 deficit. In the Cougar half of the 1st, Hailey Galvan led off with a walk, stole second, moved to 3rd on a single by Grayson Brown and came home on a sacrifice fly off the bat of Macy Bryant.
In the 2nd inning Cleveland State would knot the score at two when pitcher Stockwell would lead off with a single and was driven home by Sadie Coons. Roane would take the lead in the 3rdscoring a single run only to see the Cougars answer back with Baylee Woods who had reached with a single to center, scoring on a single by Emily Yell. It was Yell's second hit of the game.
Cleveland State would take the lead for good in the 5th inning when Bryant who had singled and Woods who had walked would come home on a double by Yell moving the score to 5-3.
Roane State would score a lone run in the top of the 7th but it would not be enough as Stockwell struck out one and induced two fly outs. The Cougar attack was led by Yell and her 3-hits followed by Brown and Bryant who had two hits each while Cortney Mooneyham and Woods had one hit each. Yell had 3 RBI's with Bryant and Coons each with one.
Cleveland State lost a game taking a 4-2 lead into the 5th giving up a single run in the 5th and then giving up four in the 6th. Starting pitcher Bekah Copas would take the loss as the Tigers would score one in the 6th and then leaving Galvan stranded on base in the 7th who had doubled to start the inning. The final score of 7-5 saw freshman pitcher Kaitlyn Pickens work through two shutout innings in the 6th and 7th to keep the Cougars in striking distance.
On the game Cleveland State had 11 hits while leaving eight runners on base. Galvan, Rachel Pierce and Yell each had two hits while Bryant, Copas, Tori Ogle, Woods and Coons each had one. Single RBI's came off the bat of Pierce, Brown, Bryant, Coons and pinch hitter Woods which in the 6th cut the lead to 7-5.
In what was the lowest scoring game of the series, Cougar softball could only muster two runs when they scored one run on a game starting lead-off homerun by Galvan in the bottom of 1st an RBI by Rachel Pierce in the 5th. Roane State scored their three runs on five hits with two in the 2nd and one in their half of the 5th in what proved to be the final 3-2 score.
Cleveland State stranded a runner at 3rd base in the bottom of the 7th as Cougar starting pitcher Stockwell (6-1) went the distance in striking out 10. On the game, Woods and Yell had two hits each while Galvan, Pierce and Stockwell each had one.
Roane State started the scoring in game four by pushing across three runs in the 1st inning as Cougar pitcher Kaitlyn Pickens (0-1) started her first game of the season. Pickens would go six innings, striking out seven in a 10-7 Cleveland State loss that would feature 14 runners scoring in the bottom of the 6th and the top of the 7th; seven by the Cougars and seven by the Raiders.
Seven of the Cougar hits would come in the bottom of the 6th with lead-off hitter Galvan lacing two doubles off the left field fence. Joining Galvan in the home team’s hit parade were Bryant who had a 3-run scoring double in the 6th and Pierce, Copas, Yell and Coons who each had one hit.
The Cougars emptied their bull pen with Copas and Kirby Webb relieving Pickens in the 7th. Webb did not give up a hit in her stint of relief.
Cleveland State looks to rebound from two tough losses when they travel to Motlow State on Friday, March 9 to take on the Lady Bucks in conference doubleheaders on Friday and Saturday March 10.