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Lady Bucks host No. 13 Walters State this weekend to close regular season

Apr. 25, 2016

Freshman catcher Riley O'Neal drove in classmate Caroline Abernethy with a single in the seventh inning Saturday afternoon as the Motlow Lady Bucks beat Chattanooga State 4-3 in the first game of a four-game series in Chattanooga.

The Lady Bucks (24-20, 17-15) were not able to secure another win as the Lady Tigers won Saturday's finale 8-7 on a seventh inning walk-off home run, then swept Sunday's games 7-3, 7-1.

Motlow will close its regular season when Walters State, ranked No. 13 in the nation, visits the Moore County campus beginning Thursday. The Lady Bucks and Lady Senators will play a doubleheader Thursday at 1 p.m., then close the regular season with a noon doubleheader on Friday. The conference tournament begins May 8 at Columbia State in Columbia.

Cameron Pearson (13-7) got the win by going the distance, scattering 10 hits and allowing only one earned run with three strikeouts. O'Neal's game-winner came after Chattanooga State tied the game with a run in the sixth inning after Motlow had taken a short-lived lead with a run in the top of the sixth. Abernathy opened the seventh with a single, advanced to second on Ashton Watkins' single and moved to third when Taylor Wolaver walked.

Saturday's second game was a heartbreaker for Motlow as they took a 7-5 lead into the bottom of the seventh before Chattanooga State ended the day with the walk-off. Riley Long (9-10) took the loss in the circle, while Wolaver and Lauren Hasty each had three hits, with Hasty adding her first home run of the season along with a double.

Pearson started in the circle in Sunday's opener, lasting 3.2 innings and allowing seven runs on six hits, before Long took over and finished the contest without allowing an earned run. Motlow's defense was shaky with four errors, and the offense only managed three hits.

The Lady Bucks were better in the series finale and led 1-0 after scoring in the top of the first, but Chattanooga State banged out 14 hits and scored seven earned runs off Long to win the series 3-1. Wolaver had two hits in the game, including her 11th double of the season.