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Motlow College Athletic News

Lady Buck win third straight TCCAA series, host Columbia State this weekend

March 26, 2018

The Motlow Lady Bucks continued their climb up the TCCAA softball standings by taking three out of four games from visiting Dyersburg State this past weekend at Lady Bucks Field on Motlow's Moore County campus.

The Lady Bucks (13-13, 10-6) beat the Lady Eagles 7-5 and 5-1 Friday, then won Saturday's opener 3-2 before falling 6-2 in the series finale. Motlow will host Columbia State this weekend, with doubleheaders scheduled for Friday at 2 p.m. and Saturday at noon.

Motlow has now won each of its last three conference series and has moved into sole possession of fourth place in the TCCAA standings. The Lady Bucks are 9-3 in their previous 12 conference games and have not played outside the conference since March 6 due to inclement weather.

The Lady Bucks were clutch against Dyersburg State, scoring the winning run in their final at bat in two of the three victories. They got outstanding pitching performances from both Kendall Durard and Breanna Owens, and they won the series despite missing standout freshman Samantha King who sat out with a shoulder injury.

Motlow had to overcome five errors to win the first game Friday, scoring two runs in the bottom of the sixth inning after giving up three in the top of the sixth. Durard (8-4) went the distance in the circle, allowing only four hits and one earned run with seven strikeouts.

Ariel McAtee got the Lady Bucks started in the deciding sixth inning, leading off with a single. Following a Kylie Thackerson walk, Haley Hinshaw sacrificed McAtee to third and Thackerson to second. With two outs, Owens brought in McAtee and Thackerson with a single to right field. Durard made the lead stand up, thanks in part to a game ending double play in the top of the seventh.

After allowing a run in the top of the first inning, the Lady Bucks scored two in the bottom of the frame, which was all they would need to win game two on Friday. Durard started in the circle and went four innings, allowing six hits and the one run with four strikeouts. Owens pitched no-hit ball the final three innings with two strikeouts and one walk.

With two outs in the first inning Madison Woodruff singled, Owens walked, and Miranda Cooksey singled to load the bases. Durard delivered the game winning single to score Owens and Cooksey. McAtee singled in Durard in the fourth inning and Cooksey doubled in Ace Hanson and Madison Hopkins in the fifth.

Motlow scored the winning run in the bottom of the seventh inning to win Saturday's first game. Hopkins opened the inning with a walk and advanced to second on Woodruff's single. Owens sacrificed Hopkins to third and Woodruff to second, and Durard drove in the winning run with a two-out infield single.

Durard again went the distance in the circle, allowing five hits with eight strikeouts. The freshman from Shelbyville got all three wins in the pitching circle and drove in the winning run in two of the three victories.

Game four was played in a cold, consistent rain Saturday afternoon, and after Dyersburg State scored two runs in the top of the first inning, the Lady Bucks were playing catch-up the rest of the game. Owens pitched very well, scattering seven hits while allowing only two earned runs with five strikeouts. Hopkins and Owens each had two hits, but the Lady Eagles added two runs in the fourth inning and two more in the seventh to salvage one game in the series.

Kendall Durard
Motlow's Kendall Durard delivers a pitch during the Lady Bucks' series win over Dyersburg State last weekend. Durard, a freshman from Shelbyville, was the winning pitcher in all three of Motlow's victories in the series and had four hits and three runs batted in. The Lady Bucks will host Columbia State this weekend, with doubleheaders scheduled for Friday and Saturday. Jeff Reed Photography.