Winthrop University

Eagle tennis teams double up on Longwood

Winthrop’s tennis teams came away with victories against Longwood University on Friday.

Winthrop improved its Big South record to 3-0 with a 7-0 road win over Longwood on Friday at the Lancer Courts in Farmville, Va. The 53rd ranked Eagles are now 11-2 overall while Longwood’s record dropped to 6-8 and 1-3 in the Big South. Weather permitting, Winthrop is scheduled to face Liberty on Saturday in Lynchburg followed on Sunday with a match at Radford.

The Eagles made quick work of the Lancers as they swept to 6-3, 6-1, 6-1 wins in the doubles competition and then dominated the host team in singles by capturing all six singles matches, including five in straight sets. Freshman Lauren Proctor (Bradenton, Fla) and sophomore Mariana Humberg (Sao Paulo, Brazil) continued their winning ways as both athletes improved to 12-1 in singles and Caitlin Cridland (Perth, Australia) moved to 11-1.

Men’s tennis: Winthrop blanked Big South foe Longwood 7-0 on Friday at the Lancer Courts to even its season record at 8-8 and move to 2-1 in Big South Conference play. The Eagles got off to a strong start by taking all three doubles matches to win that point and then followed with straight set victories at the No. 4, 5 and 6 singles positions and three-set wins on the No. 1, 2 and 3 courts. Winthrop’s scheduled match on Saturday at Liberty will be played next Tuesday due to weather conditions on Saturday in Lynchburg.

Softball: Winthrop softball dropped a doubleheader at Liberty Friday evening its Big South Conference opener. The Eagles (10-19) have now dropped six straight. Liberty evens its record to 13-13 and is 2-0 in the Big South. The two teams will wrap-up the series on Saturday with the final game schedule to start at 10 a.m. The game was rescheduled to start at 11 a.m. but will be an hour earlier as the team’s try to get ahead of the forecast for rain.

In the nightcap, Liberty scored one run in each of the first three innings to build a 3-0 lead. Winthrop threatened in the top of the fifth as Zharne Glover singled to right center and moved to second on a Toni Pancione single through the hole at short. Keleigh Romine lined out and then Haley Zuehlke flied out to center to end the threat. In the bottom of that inning, Liberty pushed its lead to 7-0 behind two-run homers from Madison Kotchey and Tori Zavodny, both with two outs.

Liberty’s Julia DiMartino held the Eagles to four hits while walking none and striking out four in a complete game effort. Kiley Majette tossed a complete game as well as she allowed seven runs on 10 hits with two walks and three strikeouts.

In the first game, Liberty jumped out to a 3-0 lead when Leah Young doubled in a run in the top of the third. Morgan Lowers led off the inning with a single to center and scored from first on the Young double down the left field line.

Liberty responded with six runs in the bottom of the third to open up the game and lead 9-1. Liberty went up 4-1 with one out in the third as Kotchey took a pitch over the fence in right center. It looked like that was all the Flames would get as Chace Helms got a grounder to third, but Kim Ryder didn’t handle it cleanly and two batters later the Flames added another run for a 5-1 lead. After an infield single to load the bases and then the Flames drew four straight walks with the bases loaded to push the lead to 9-1.

Winthrop did answer back with three runs in the top of the fourth inning. With two outs, Lowers and Haley had back-to-back singles to the outfield. Then Young stepped in with another chance to add runs and she tripled to center. Megan Winningham followed with a double to left center, scoring Young and cutting the deficit to 9-4. Liberty made a pitching change to Chandler Ball as Loken and Helms walked to load the bases but Ball got Brooke Ellison swinging to end the inning.

In the bottom of the fourth the Flames added to their lead. After Helms got the first two batters to ground out, she ran into trouble as she walked Kassidy McCoy with one out. After giving up a single, she then moved the runners to second and short before Mickey Loveridge singled up the middle, scoring both base runners for an 11-4 lead. Liberty tried to finish the game in the bottom of the fifth by virtue of the run-rule as it loaded the bases with one out, but Helms got out of the inning with a fly out and grounder that led to an out at second to end the inning.

Helms took the loss in the circle after allowing 10 runs (four earned) on 11 hits and five walks. Chase Cassady earned the win for Liberty as she allowed four runs (three earned) on six hits with three walks and four strikeouts. The Winthrop offense ended up leaving 11 runners on-base in the game.

Young singled in the top of the first in the second game to extend her on-base streak to 19 games, which is the longest such streak since McKenzi Corn reached in 19 straight in 2013. Young had three hits on in the doubleheader while Lowers, Pancione and Glover each had two hits.