MONTGOMERY, Ala. - Taylor Tallant's two-run home run capped a final inning five-run rally as LaGrange beat Huntingdon 8-6 to sweep a USA South doubleheader Wednesday. The Panthers (4-12, 2-0 USA South) won the first game 10-1 in five innings to snap a 11-game losing skid.
"Our senior leadership was huge for us tonight," said Coach Jennifer Claybrook. "What a great way to start out conference play! We have been growing together and believing in each other. It is great to see their hard work and detemination pay off. We had a terrific first game from everyone and the second game was incredible! Emily Cauldwell's poise, endurance, and leadership on the mound set the tone.
"In the second game, Riley Densmore leading off the inning, McKenzie Brunel stayed hot, Emily Barrs picking the perfect pitch, a clutch hit by Sydney Hodorff, the Taylor Tallant stepping up with the huge home run."
Game 2- LaGrange jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the top of the first as Tallant had a two-run single in the inning. Huntingdon (7-9, 0-2 USA South) got a run in each of the first three innings to tie the game at 3-3. The Hawks pushed across three runs in the bottom of the sixth to take a 6-3 lead. Riley Densmore and McKenzie Brunel opened the seventh for LC with back-to-back hits. Emily Barrs cleared the bases with a double to get the Panthers within a run, 6-5. Reliever Haley Riddle (1-2) came on and got two quick outs. Sydney Hodorff tied the game with a base hit to right center, scoring pinch-runner Monica Murphy with the tying run. Tallant followed with her first collegiate home run to put LC up 8-6. Emily Cauldwell (3-5) closed out the game with a scoreless seventh. Cauldwell gave up three runs, only one earned, in three innings of work.
Game 1- The Panthers needed only five innings to take the first game of the doubleheader. They had only six hits, but took advantage of five walks and three errors by the Hawks. LC broke open the game in the fourth. Leading 2-1, the Panthers scored five runs to go up 7-1, then added three in the fifth for the 10-1 final. Cauldwell started and went the distance, scattering four hits, walking none and striking out three. Madison Martin had three RBIs, while Tallant and Brittany Todd each had a double.
The Panthers host Berea and Covenant in USA South doubleheaders on Friday and Saturday.