Highs heat up after sweep

Thomas Bowman

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Thomas Bowman

Tommy Withers

After a busy week, the Highlanders find themselves on a four-game winning streak as they look ahead to Tuesday’s game against the University of North Carolina Tar Heels.

Radford University’s softball team opened the week splitting a doubleheader against the Longwood University Lancers. In a game that had 32 hits and 21 runs, Longwood’s offense proved too much to handle as they beat RU in game one by a score of 12-9.

Errors were the early story for the Highs, with two errors leading to three runs in the second inning. RU rallied right back with four runs in the fourth, only to have it answered with four runs by Longwood in the fifth. It was a game of well-placed hits from there on as the Lancers held on for the win.

Longwood’s starting pitcher threw a complete game and got the win for the Lancers, surrendering eight earned runs while striking out seven. Freshman Stephanie Dameron picked up the loss, only throwing two innings of work.

The second game of the doubleheader was a game of the pitcher. Dameron recovered from game one, earning the win. Wells once again went the distance for the Lancers, but it wasn’t enough as the Highs won 3-1.

Senior Kristen Shifflett led the way offensively for the Highs, going 2-3 and scoring the game-clinching run in the fifth.

In the weekend series again Presbyterian, RU came to play allowing only four runs in three games. The bats were on fire Saturday, with 20 combined hits from the Highs and five home runs.

Sophomore Jackie Jenkins picked up the win in game one, pitching in relief of Dameron. Shifflett hit what would prove to be the game-winning home run in the third. The two-run shot by Shifflett gives her two for the season, as she continues to be reliable for the Highs in the leadoff spot.

The flood gates opened in game two of the Big South doubleheader, as RU recorded four home runs by four diffeent players. The game was never really close, with the Highs putting up 10 runs in the first three innings.

Seven Highs had multiple hits for RU in a game that saw homers by juniors Michelle and Nichole Beall, senior Taylor Cunningham and senior Shannon Keefe, both going a perfect 3-for-3, and senior Lauren Williams going 2-for-2 and scoring two runs for the Highs.

Dameron picked up her 10th win of the season, going five full innings and allowing only one earned run.

It was a classic pitchers’ duel for the finale on Sunday. Jenkins took the mound for RU and out-pitched Presbyterian’s starter, as the Highs won the game 2-0.

Jenkins tossed a complete game shutout, giving up only two hits and earning her eleventh win of the season.

Shifflett stayed hot at the plate for RU, going 2-for-4 with one RBI.

Junior Vicki Madden had a solid day for the Highs in the six hole, going 2-for-3 before being pinch ran for by junior Hannah Ojeda, who would go on to score the final run.

The win makes RU 25-13 on the year with a 6-2 conference record. They have now won four in a row and seven of their last 10.

The Highs look to keep the momentum train going this week with five games on the schedule, starting with a home game on Tuesday, April 12 against UNC at 4 p.m., before heading up the road for an away game against Virginia Tech on Wednesday at 7 p.m.

RU finishes up the week at home with a three-game series starting Saturday at 2 p.m. against Big South rival Coastal Carolina University.