Jeremy Zalacca - Director of Athletic Communications
MISENHEIMER, N.C. - The Pfeiffer softball team improved to 9-1 on the season thanks to a Sunday sweep of Columbus St. (7-6-1) at Jack Ingram Field. The Falcons outlasted the Cougars 4-3 in eight innings in the opener and overcame a 4-0 deficit to take a 6-4 victory in the finale.
Sydney Poole earned the win in both games of the doubleheader, improving to 4-0 on the season. Poole tossed 7.1 scoreless innings on the afternoon to earn her 27th and 28th career victories.
The Falcons have now won 12 straight home games dating back to last season.
In the opener, Pfeiffer got on the board in the bottom of the fourth when Emma Tuttle stole home on a heads up base running play. A few batters later, Makenzie Pennell drove in Stephanie Fortner with an RBI single to right field.
In the bottom of the fifth, Pfeiffer executed another steal of home, this time it was Abi Peck crossing the plate on a double steal attempt.
Columbus St. would even the score with three runs in the bottom of the sixth forcing extra innings.
In the top of the eighth, senior catcher Rachel Crowder nailed the baserunner that was placed on second to start the inning. On the first pitch of the at bat, Crowder threw a strike to second to pick off Kia Smith. Poole would get out of the inning, sending Pfeiffer to bat in the bottom half of the inning. With Kaleigh Troutman placed on second, Chandler Walker laid down a perfect sacrifice bunt. Emma Tuttle would plate Troutman with the game winning run on a sacrifice fly to left field.
Game two started out rough for the Falcons and starting pitcher Kennedy Lester. Columbus State would push across two runs in each of the first two innings to take a 4-0 lead and forcing a call to the bullpen. Poole would come in and shut down the Cougars for 5.1 innings to allow the Pfeiffer bats to chip away at the lead.
In the bottom of the third, Crowder hit a sac fly to score Tuttle. Pennell singled to left field to score Fortner and cut the lead to 4-3.
Pfeiffer came up in the bottom of the fifth and Pennell would come up with the biggest hit of the day. With the bases loaded, Pennell crushed a double to right center to score Fortner and Vada Blue Sherrill and put Pfeiffer ahead 5-4. Kiana Millsaps added a sac fly to push Pfeiffer's advantage to 6-4.
Poole did the rest before giving way to Caitlin Christian who shut the door for her second save of the season.
The top four batters in the lineup for Pfeiffer (Sherrill, Fortner, Crowder, Pennell) went a combined 8-for-10 with five runs scored and four runs batted in.
The Falcons look to stay hot on Friday as they travel to USC Aiken for a non-conference doubleheader. First pitch is scheduled for 2 p.m.