Welcome to The Doghouse, a weekly column recapping Union University sports action from the weekend.
This weekend, baseball went 2-1, while softball went 3-1. In basketball, the men fell at West Florida, while the women won in overtime.
Friday, Union hosted Maryville University in a doubleheader. The Bulldogs won both games, with scores of 5-3 and 6-1.
Maryville scored first with an RBI single in the fourth. Union answered with two doubles that combined to score three runs in the bottom of the inning. Maryville added a run in the fifth and another in the sixth to tie the game. The 3-3 game went into extra innings, where David Robbins got on base on a ground rule double for Union. Tyler Mauzy followed with a two-run walk off homerun.
JR Miller started on the mound for the Bulldogs, and pitched five innings. Miller allowed two runs on five hits, and threw four strikeouts. Austin Kitterman came in as relief, giving up one run on four hits, and Cooper Bullough earned the win after two shutout innings.
In the second game, Union carried their momentum from earlier in the day with a three-run second inning. Dylan Moore doubled and Zach Wylie walked, both scoring on a Zach Phillips homer. Maryville’s lone run came in the fifth inning off a Camdon Mercier single that scored Troy Payton. In the bottom of that inning, Mauzy singled to left, setting up Wylie for a two-run homer. Then, Nolen Milton tripled to right center. Milton scored when Hayden Lewis beat out an infield grounder.
Teddy Christie earned the win after six innings with one run on five hits. He went three-up-three-down in the first three innings. Ryne Roper came in to close the game in his season pitching debut.
On Saturday, Union’s winning streak ended with a 23-5 loss to Maryville.
Union used six pitchers in the game, starting with Marty Coursey. In the second inning, he allowed five runs on four hits, and was pulled from the contest early in the third. Maryville didn’t stop rolling along, and by the bottom of the fourth, Union trailed 11-0. In that frame, Roper had an RBI double to score Milton for the Bulldogs’ first run.
In the fifth, Maryville scored four runs on four hits and an error, making the score 15-1. Union responded with two runs in the bottom of the inning. Maryville added four more runs in the ninth. Union couldn’t score in the final frame.
“Game 3 obviously got away from us,” Union head coach Lee Driggers said. “Maryville played very well, and we had no answers either on the mound or at the plate. A takeaway from the series is that we left 34 men on base. We need to get a few more of them across the plate.”
“Our team really has a lot of new faces and fresh competitive attitude,” head coach Heather Hall said. “In addition, we have a great senior class who have stepped up and have been leading our young group well.”
On Friday, Union split a home doubleheader against Maryville and Tusculum.
In the first game Maryville scored first on a double to center in the fourth inning. In the seventh, Abby Swilley had an RBI single to tie the game. The game went into international tie breaker, and in the top of the eighth the Saints’ runner on second was Alyssa Callans started on second for the Saints. Callans stole third and then scored on a Sheridon Sprague single. In the bottom of the inning, Union’s Hannah Ridolfi responded with a fly out to right that set up Marley Dyess to score on a throwing error. Then, Ashley Scott reached with a single, and Gabby Morris hit the winning run in with a single down the right field line.
Hannah Ridolfi started at pitcher and gave up two runs on four hits with seven strikeouts. She pitched the first four innings as well as the eighth. In her absence, Parker Davis pitched three shutout innings, allowing one hit. Hannah Ridolfi earned the win in the 3-2 final.
In the second game of the day, Union lost to Tusculum College 6-4.
The Pioneers scored first with a two-run third inning. In the fourth, the Lady Bulldogs took control with a 2-RBI single from Paige Robertson, a groundout RBI from Hailey Cummings and an RBI single from LaDesha Nelson. In the fifth, Tusculum scored three more runs on five hits, and in the sixth, Taylor Johnson had an RBI single for the Pioneers’ sixth and final run of the game.
Morris started on the mound for Union, and allowed two runs in three innings, while Taylor Griffith took the loss with two runs allowed in 1.1 innings pitched.
“Once we started playing,” Hall said, “I witnessed the girls cheering for each other and picking each other up when they didn’t get a hit. It has been very encouraging.”
Saturday, the Lady Bulldogs faced Maryville and Tusculum again, and this time swept the day.
Against Maryville, Morris started on the bump. She allowed two runs on one hit in four innings pitched. Those runs came on an Emily Frankenreiter triple and a Casey Ward bunt in the top of the fourth. Union’s first hit came from Ridolfi, who tripled to right in the bottom of the seventh. Nelson hit a single to put runners on the corners and Scott got hit by a pitch to load the bases. Morris then hit a 2-RBI double to tie the game and Robertson added an RBI sacrifice fly. The fourth and final run of the inning came off a Rachel Ridolfi triple that scored Morris.
No runs were scored in the remainder of the game, and Hannah Ridolfi earned the win with zero hits allowed in three innings of relief.
Against Tusculum, the Pioneers scored first with a Morgan Mahaffey sacrifice fly in the top of the third inning. In the bottom of the inning, Nelson scored for the Lady Bulldogs on a throwing error. In the fourth, Union scored four runs on six singles, including one bunt, which made the score 5-1. In the fifthinning, Peyton Mathis had an RBI single and Hannah Ridolfi had a 2-RBI single with the bases loaded. Tusculum answered the Lady Bulldogs with a run in the sixth, setting the 8-2 final.
Hannah Ridolfi pitched all seven innings, allowing two runs on four hits. The Lady Bulldogs had 13 hits in the game.
“On the field of play, our team is really coming together and is better all-around,” Hall said. “The things that they have worked on in practice have really paid off and made them better ball players.”
Union is now 6-2 overall.
Saturday, the Lady Bulldogs completed the season sweep of the top team in the Gulf South West Florida (19-5, 14-4) with an overtime victory on the road.
The first quarter was back and forth, with West Florida taking an 18-16 lead into the second period. The contest remained close throughout the second quarter, and West Florida took their largest lead of the half to the locker room at 33-29.
In the next half, Union opened with an 8-0 run with four points from Bria Gaines and four from Jada Smith. Neither team led by more than four points throughout the rest of the quarter as the teams traded leads. Going into the fourth quarter, the contest was tied at 53. Union scored first and never trailed the entire period. With the Lady Bulldogs ahead 65-64, Sara Lytle missed a shot, Katie O’Neal rebounded and West Florida called timeout to advance the ball to their end of the floor. Katie Bobos shot and missed, but she got her own rebound. Lytle committed a foul, sending Toni Brewer to the line.
“I made the decision to knock the ball out of her hands, even with the potential of fouling, because layups are a lot less pressure than free throws,” Lytle said. “I didn’t want to go home with two losses. There’s nothing worse than a long bus ride home after a loss.”
Brewer missed the first free throw but made the second to tie the game. Union called timeout to advance the ball for one final shot, but Astrid Huttemann couldn’t convert.
In overtime, Union came alive with a 12-4 run for the largest lead of the game by either team at 77-69.
“Astrid came out with a spark and definitely got us going,” Lytle said. “Everyone was able to feed off her energy.”
West Florida clawed back as the teams played in a fashion similar to that of regulation. After a Union turnover and foul on a 3-point-attempt, West Florida went to the foul line down 80-76 with two seconds remaining. Alex Coyne made the first two, and then missed the third intentionally to hope for a rebound and game winning shot. The ball bounced out of bounds as time expired to give Union the 80-78 win.
Union shot 46 percent from the field to West Florida’s 34 percent. Lytle led with 18 points, while Smith had 16, Gaines had 11, and Huttemann had 10. Chelsea Bodiford had a career high 13 rebounds in the game and led the team in 44 minutes played.
“I had no idea during the game that I had that many [rebounds],” Bodiford said. “Rebounding is not something that I think I am great at, so I was happy to know that I got that many. It was a big game, so I was trying to play as hard as I could.”
Lytle said that Bodiford pushes the rest of the team and is “a fighter…. the last one to give up.”
“I am not a very vocal or outgoing person, so I have had to come out of my comfort zone this season,” Bodiford said. “Coach [Mark Campbell] really has encouraged me to be very vocal in games and encouraging to the girls outside of games.”
The Lady Bulldogs are 13-11 overall and sit at 7th in the conference with a conference record of 8-10.
In Saturday’s game at West Florida, the men’s basketball team lost 64-58.
The Bulldogs opened the game with a 10-2 run. West Florida fought back, thanks in part to a 9-0 run, and with under ten minutes to play Union led 15-14. The rest of the half was back and forth, and Union led 29-26 going into the locker room.
Union maintained a steady lead throughout the half until the nine-minute mark, when Marvin Jones made a three to give West Florida a 45-43 lead. The Bulldogs never regained their lead, despite coming within one point. When Union tried to foul late in the game, but West Florida went 4-for-4 in the final 30 seconds to secure their edge.
Union shot 36 percent from the field and 65 percent from the foul line, while West Florida shot 42 percent and 69 percent respectively. The Argonauts had 44 rebounds to 28 for the Bulldogs.
Tray Boyd led Union with 22 points, including four 3-pointers. Charlie Wilson scored 11 and Jarad Scott scored 10.
The Bulldogs fall to 13-11 overall and are 8th in the conference with a record of 8-10.
Baseball plays at University of Arkansas Monticello on Tuesday and both baseball and softball will play doubleheaders at Shorter University on Saturday. Thursday, women’s and men’s basketball host Delta State before traveling to Mississippi College on Saturday.