PULASKI, TN - After taking game 1 of the 4-game series at Martin Methodist on Friday, softball was swept in the teams' first tripleheader on Saturday by scores of 7-4, 9-8, and 9-2. The Knights jumped out to a lead in all 3 games with runs in the top of the 1st but the Red Hawks fought back for the win in each. The losses put the Knights at an even 24-24 on the season which surpasses their highest win total in a season since joining the NAIA and 11-17 in SSAC play with 4 games remaining at Stillman next weekend.
In Game 1, the Knights took the early lead 1-0 in the top of the 1st with a sacrifice fly by Emilie Lawrence to score Madison Bivins and the Red Hawks tied it in the bottom of the 1st at 1. The Knights struck again with a pair in the 4th with an RBI double by Maggie Burkhalter and RBI single by Brittany Wilt. The Red Hawks scored 1 in the 4th to trail 3-2. The Red Hawks put up 2 more in the 5th and 3 in the 6th while Caroline Newton's RBI single scored the Knights only other run in the top of the 7th for a 7-4 final. Meagan Coleman took the loss coming on in relief in the 3rd as the Knights used Coleman and Newton in relief of Sydney Shackelford who started and threw 2 innings before leaving the game.
In Game 2, the Knights scored 4 in the top of the 1st as Coleman had an RBI single and Lawrence an RBI ground out then Burkhalter singled home 2 to cap the 4. The Red Hawks answered with 3 in the 1st, 4 in the second and 2 in the 3rd for a 9-4 lead. Coleman started the game and was relieved by Newton in the 3rd and finished the final 4 innings. Bivins hit a 2-run home run, her 4th of the season, in the 4th to trim the lead to 9-6. Margaret Simmons tripled in the 5th to score Burkhalter then scored on a single by Bivins to trail 9-8 after 5. The Knights stranded the tying run in the 6th and 7th as they fell 9-8. Coleman received the loss in the game.
For Game 3, the Knights sent Newton out to start the game and the Knights struck first again as Coleman singled home Simmons for a 1-0 lead after 1. The Red Hawks tied the game in the 2nd then added a pair in the 3rd, 4 in the 4th, and 2 more in the 6th to score their 9. The Knights got just one more in the top of the 6th on Burkhalter's RBI single leaving 6 runners on base in the game. Newton took the loss in the game after pitching 11.0 innings in the 3 games to follow up her 7 innings on Friday in a win.
The Knights will travel to Stillman College in Tuscaloosa, AL for the final 4 regular season games before the SSAC Tournament starts on May 2 in Montgomery, AL. The Knights are currently the 6-seed and would face the 3-seeded Faulkner Eagles if neither teams position does not change. The final regular season opponent, Stillman, is 3-23 in SSAC play and 16-29 on the season giving the Knights a chance to pick up a few more wins and hold their spot for the tournament.