The Motlow College Lady Bucks finished the 2013 softball regular season on a positive note, sweeping TCCAA rival Roane State 4-2, 11-2 Friday afternoon at the softball complex on the Moore County campus. Saturday’s scheduled doubleheader between the two was rained out.
Motlow (17-26, 12-19) will not play in the TCCAA/Region VII softball tournament, which begins this Friday at Volunteer State in Gallatin. Only the top four finishers in the conference standings will participate in this year’s tournament.
The Lady Bucks did win seven of their last 10 games though, and the majority of the roster is made up of freshmen. Head Coach Tori Raby-Gentry has already begun signing players for next year’s team, when the Lady Bucks will expect to compete for a tournament position.
Friday’s opener against the visiting Lady Raiders featured a solid pitching performance by Roxanne Hillman and a three-hit, three-RBI game at the plate for Makenzie Hopkins. Motlow scored twice in the first inning and added single runs in the fourth and fifth. Roane plated both of its runs in the sixth.
Hillman went the distance, scattering six hits with a pair of strikeouts. Hopkins drove in Ashley Williams, who had walked, and Keli Bruning, who reached on an error, in the second inning. Hopkins scored Motlow’s third run on an RBI single by Shelby Webb in the fourth, then drove in the final run in the fifth when her one-out double scored Bruning.
The nightcap on Friday, which turned out to be the season finale for the Lady Bucks, was tied at 2-2 entering the bottom of the sixth inning when the Lady Bucks exploded for nine runs to end the game on the 10-run rule.
Lindsey Knoer pitched a complete game, allowing only five hits and one earned run. Williams and Webb each had three RBIs for Motlow, while Warren and Tori Taylor had three hits apiece.
Chelsea Howell led off the decisive sixth inning with a double and scored on Webb’s single. Miranda Whelan then singled, Warren walked and Williams doubled home all three runners. Bruning reached on an error, scoring Williams, and Taylor then singled to drive home Bruning. After Taylor scored on an error, Webb closed the season with a two-run single, driving in both Howell and Hopkins.
The wins over Roane State came a day after Motlow split a doubleheader with non-conference opponent Calhoun State Community College. Motlow won the first game 3-2 on a walk-off two-run homer by Taylor in the bottom of the seventh inning. Calhoun came back to win game two 11-2.
—By C. SCOTT SHASTEEN, Motlow College