Tigerville, S.C.—North Greenville's bats stayed cold on Saturday, despite the unseasonably warm February temperatures, as NGU dropped a two game set to Tusculum College 2-1 in game one and 8-2 in game two.
The Crusaders could only manage four hits in the first game on Saturday, while the Pioneers only found three. NGU's lone run came in the second inning on a solo home run from Cassie Carpenter, her second of the season. Tusculum tied the score at one in the next frame with the second solo homerun of the game.
The rest of the game would be a defensive battle, as each team struggled to produce on offense. The Pioneers stranded three runners during the final four innings while North Greenville left two on board.
The tipping point of game one came in the top half of the seventh inning as Tusculum scored the go ahead run on two North Greenville errors. NGU threatened to tie the game, as Jordan Farmer reached on an infield single, but was thrown out at second after a fielders choice ground out. The Pioneers would work their way out of possible extra innings with a grounder to third that ended the first game.
Both team's solved the puzzle at the plate in the second game, but only one would be able to capitalize with runs. NGU finished the second game with nine hits, but just two runs, while the Pioneers scored 8 runs on 10 hits.
Tusculum did damage early, taking a 3-0 lead in the first inning, the runs once again coming on the long ball. This time a three run blast from Stroinski would equal the total amount of runs scored in game one between the two squads. North Greenville would cut the lead to two runs in the home half of the first, as Christie Riley's RBI single brought home Shayna Finley.
NGU would pull closer in the second, taking advantage of a leadoff double from Jordan Willingham. Willingham advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt from Meghan Johnson and later scored on a sacrifice fly from Sarah Armstrong, who collected the RBI. NGU would go on to strand two runners however as the teams headed into the third inning.
Tusculum would extend its advantage with back to back scoring innings in the fourth and fifth innings. The Pioneers scored two runs in each inning to take their 8-2 lead. North Greenville threatened in the fourth inning, but left three runners on base and two more in the seventh as Tusculum left Tigerville with two wins.
North Greenville fell to 1-3 on the season after Saturday's sweep with Conference Carolinas games just over the horizon. Christie Reilly put together a solid day in game two, going 2-2 at the dish with an RBI. Carpenter was 3-6 combined with a run scored and an RBI.
The Crusaders will face their first road challenge on February 11th as they make the short trip to Anderson to take on the Trojans of Anderson University. The first pitch of the midweek double-header is scheduled for 2pm.