BARBOURVILLE, Ky. – The Union College softball team celebrated 'Senior Day' in grand style, as the Bulldogs swept the Appalachian Athletic Conference (AAC) doubleheader from the Rams of Bluefield (Va.), winning 9-1 in five innings and 5-3 on Saturday.
The wins improve the Bulldogs' overall record to 25-26 overall and put them 13-7 in conference play. This was Union's AAC finale, and it will enter the AAC Tournament as either the No. 3 or No. 4 seed.
The 13 conference wins are a five-game improvement over last season.
Prior to the twinbill, Union honored its seniors, and those players expressed their gratitude with big-time performances.
Tiffanie Moore (SR/Maryville, Tenn.) finished 3-for-5 with three RBIs, giving her 46 on the year to match her career high for a season. Chandler Overton (SR/Nashville, Tenn.) delivered her first career home run and went 4-for-6 with two RBIs and three stolen bases. Kaylee Childers (SR/Metropolis, Ill.) picked up the complete-game victory in the opener and scored two runs. Lastly, Rachel Rhode (SR/Stillwater, Minn.) struck out five in four innings of work to pick up her 14th win of the year in the second game.
Also playing in their final home game as a Bulldog were Jennifer Bazylak (SR/Destin, Fla.), Hannah Melhorn (SR/Coalfield, Tenn. ), Micah Seibert (SR/Greenup, Ill.), and Hannah Chadwell (SR/Danville, Ky.).
Game One – Union 9, Bluefield 1
Bluefield struck first, but Union countered with its big sticks in rolling to the 9-1 victory.
After the Rams took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first, the Bulldogs answered with three in the bottom of the frame. Childers led off with a double with Overton following with a bunt single to put runners on the corners. Bazylak lofted a sac fly to score Childers. Moore then blasted a two-run home run to center field, making it 3-1 Union.
The four-bagger is Moore's fifth of the year and 16th of her career.
In the third, Randi Bass (JR/Milton, Fla.) hit a three-run bomb to center to up the margin to 6-1. The home run ties Bass with Moore for the team lead.
Union took advantage of an error in the fourth to tack on three more run in closing out the eight-run win.
Childers went the distance in the circle, allowing one earned run on four hits and one walk with four strikeouts.
Game Two – Union 5, Bluefield 3
Union jumped out to an early 4-0 lead and held on to win 5-3 and complete the sweep.
Overton got the scoring started with an inside-the-park home run in the bottom of the first. It is her first career home run as a Bulldog. Bazylak followed with a triple and later scored on a Moore sac fly to make it 2-0.
In the second, Childers and Overton each collected run-scoring hits to up the margin to 4-0.
Bluefield picked up a run in the third, but Union responded with a run in the fourth as Bass scored thanks to an error, making it 5-1.
The Rams made things interesting in the seventh as they loaded the bases with no outs. Two Union errors led to a pair of Bluefield runs, but that was all the damage the visitors could do as Union held on for the 5-3 decision.
Rhode pitched the final four innings to improve to 14-13 on the year. She allowed two runs, one earned, on three hits and no walks with five strikeouts. Megan Ramsey (FR/Greeneville, Tenn.) got the start and surrendered one earned run on three hits and two walks with one strikeout.
Union closes out the regular season with a doubleheader at Pikeville (Ky.) on Thursday. First pitch is set for 1 p.m.