JACKSON, Tenn. - 3/19/2010 - JACKSON, Tenn. – The Union (Tenn.) University softball opened the 2010 TranSouth Conference regular season with a double-header sweep over No. 8 Martin Methodist (Tenn.) College. Union cruised in the first game 8-1 and then took game two 4-3 in nine innings.
Union improved to 15-7 overall and 2-0 in the TranSouth. Union is now 4-0 versus teams ranked in the top-25 and 5-1 versus teams that are ranked or receiving votes. Martin Methodist dropped to 21-8 on the season and 0-2 in league play.
Union scored first with four runs in the bottom of the third inning and then three more in the bottom of the fourth to lead 7-0. Both teams added runs in the sixth to set the final at 8-1. Union was led by Ali Thomas with two hits and three RBI. Amber Hayes also produced three RBI in the win. Brooke Thomas (9-4) tossed a complete game four-hitter, allowing one earned run with nine strikeouts.
The second game was much closer. Union scored first again with two runs in the bottom of the third. This time, the RedHawks rallied with a run in the fifth and two more in the sixth to take a 3-2 lead. Martin Methodist produced the only home runs on the day. Nicole McWhorter’s solo shot in the fifth and Amber Kinsey’s two-run shot in the sixth accounted for their only runs.
In the bottom of the seventh, Union trailed 3-2. Brooke Thomas and Ali Thomas reached on back-to-back errors from the RedHawks. A double by Hayes drove in Brooke Thomas to tie the game and send it to extra innings. With the game still tied at 3-3 in the bottom of the ninth, Union used two hits and an error to load the bases. Stephanie Sanders was hit by a pitch to drive in the winning run.
Union was led by Hayes with three hits, while Ali Thomas and Ali Bozza recorded two hits. Hayes, Brittany Burkett and Saunders each recorded one RBI. Keaton Kirk started the game and went 5.1 innings, allowing three runs on four hits with three strikeouts. Brooke Thomas earned the win in relief, tossing 3.2 innings of one-hit softball, allowing no runs and striking out three batters.
Up next for Union will be double-header at home on Saturday, March 20 versus Hannibal-LaGrange (Mo.) at 1:00 p.m.
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