The Phoenix (28-19, 6-14 Mid-South) scored the first two runs of the game in the opener, but the Blue Raiders (33-10, 13-5) tied the game with single runs in the third and fifth. Callum Pilgrim’s two-out RBI single and a two-run double by Lyric Houston plated the go-ahead runs in the sixth for LWC. The inning started with an error, opening the door for the three runs.
Morgan Arndt (10-9) suffered the loss in the opener, allowing five runs, two earned, on 11 hits in 5.2 innings. The right-hander walked two and limited the Blue Raiders to single runs in the third and fifth innings before an extra opened the door for three unearned runs in the sixth.
Tyra Graham posted two of CU’s five hits in the loss, singling and scoring in the first and homering in the third, accounting for both of the team’s runs. Cumberland finished the game 1-for-9 with runners on base in the contest.
Pilgrim, Houston, Amber Hancock and Cassie Kooker each recorded two hits for LWC and Pilgrim and Houston drove in two runs apiece. Taylor Slade (4-2) picked up the win, allowing two runs on five hits. She walked one and struck out three.
Lindsey Wilson took a 2-0 lead in the first inning of the second contest, but Cumberland evened the game with two runs in the third, including an RBI single by Graham. Fourman’s 10th home run of the year in the fifth proved to be the game-winner. The fly ball to left field got into the 17-20 mile-per-hour winds blowing that way and cleared the wall with one out in the inning.
LWC’s Annabelle Ramirez (10-6) got the victory, allowing two runs on six hits. She did not walk a batter and struck out two. Cassie Matlock collected two of the Blue Raiders’ four hits.
Kayley Caplinger (12-6) took the loss, giving up three runs on three hits in five innings. She walked five and struck out one, stranding six baserunners in the first three innings to keep the Phoenix in the contest.
Paola Del Valle posted three of the team’s six hits for Cumberland, including a leadoff double in the seventh, but she was stranded at second to end the game.
The Phoenix started the opener quickly with a leadoff single by Graham, who moved to second on a bunt by Imani Torragano and third on a groundout from Caplinger. Brigid Antonelli’s soft single to left fell between the shortstop and left fielder for an RBI and a 1-0 CU edge after a half inning.
The Blue Raiders threatened in the bottom of the inning thanks to a bloop single to right by Houston and a walk to Alaeni Ray, but Fourman popped out. Kalli Harris singled sharply to center, but Torragano gunned down the runner at the plate to end the frame.
Graham’s two-out line drive over the centerfield wall in the third made it a 2-0 lead for the Phoenix, the sixth home run of the year for the sophomore.
Lindsey Wilson got on the board in the bottom of the inning after a leadoff single by Kooker, who moved to second on a one-out grounder from Houston. Ray lifted a soft single down the left-field line, plating a run. Fourman followed with a walk but Arndt won the battle with Harris, getting a groundout to end the frame with CU still holding a 2-1 advantage.
Kooker and Pilgrim both singled to leadoff the LWC fifth inning and moved to second and third on a sac bunt from Houston. Ray smoked a ball right at the shortstop Graham, who looked the runner back and then threw wildly to third, trying to get Kooker sliding back to the bag. That loaded the bases and Fourman’s groundout to second plated a run, evening the contest at two.
Matlock reached on an error to start the sixth for the Blue Raiders, opening the door for a big inning by the home team. Amber Hancock then doubled to right-center, putting runners on second and third, but Arndt got a pair of groundouts and looked to get out of the inning.
Pilgrim singled sharply to center, plating one run, and Houston’s two-run double to right-center broke the game open and ended the day for Arndt, who deserved better.
Lindsey Wilson scored twice in the first inning in the second contest, getting just one hit.
Pilgrim drew a leadoff walk and stole second and Houston grounded back to the pitcher. Caplinger threw to third and Pilgrim slid under the tag, putting runners on the corners. Ray walked, loading the bases, and Fourman’s ground ball to first pushed across a run.
Matlock singled to right-center, scoring a run, but Caplinger got a groundout and a line drive to right-center to end the inning without any further damage.
Cumberland scored twice in the third inning to even the game, starting with back-to-back bloop singles down the right-field line by Del Valle and Shae Dunn. Graham then singled up the middle, off the gloving of a diving second baseman Hancock, allowing Del Valle to come across on the play.
The Phoenix then tried a double steal, with Graham thrown out taking second but Dunn scored without a throw, tying the contest.
Cumberland will play host to the University of the Cumberlands this Friday and Saturday for a four-game series, the final home games of the year for the Phoenix. Friday’s doubleheader will start at 1 p.m. and Saturday’s twin bill at noon.