CULLMAN – Cullman got a lift when needed at the plate by second baseman Sierra Easterwood in the third inning of Thursday's softball battle with Corner.
Easterwood took a Sydney Watson pitch over the left field fence for a solo home run that put the Lady Bearcats in front. Cullman would claim a 9-1 triumph thanks to the solo blast from Easterwood and two home runs from leadoff batter Claire Jenkins.
The homer from Easterwood triggered a three-run third inning with Cullman producing five hits in the process. Cullman would finish off its opponent from Jefferson County with eight runs between the third and sixth inning on 11 hits and five batters taking advantage of driving in runs.
Getting what she needed by her offense, Olivia Schwaiger went to work from the fourth inning and shut out the Lady Yellow Jackets. In the last four innings, Schwaiger allowed two hits and was aided by a pair of double plays that killed any opportunity of a Corner comeback.
Emilee Turner grounded into a 3-6-3 double play to end the fourth with Cullman leading 4-1. Then after the Lady 'Cats got two in their half of the fourth on Jenkins' second homer and a run-producing single by Olivia Schwaiger, Cullman had a 4-6-3 twin killer in the fifth inning.
Corner never recovered from there as Schwaiger was in rhythm by a solid effort from her defense of Tiffani Schwaiger at first, Easterwood at second, Jenkins at shortstop and Hannah Morton at third. No errors were committed as Morton had four assists, Jenkins three while Easterwood and Tiffani Schwaiger had one on ground ball outs.
Olivia Schwaiger struck out seven, walked one batter and didn't let a Corner runner get beyond second base following the Yellow Jackets' only run coming in the third.
McKensi Burks drove in two runs, going three for four on the afternoon. Jenkins was three for three with the two home runs, plus a double, walked twice and scored three times.
Taiya Ponder had a two for three performance; Olivia Schwaiger was two for three with an RBI and a run scored. Cullman collected 17 hits in the game, forcing Corner to make a pitching change after the fourth with the Lady 'Cats well in command.
Coach Stephanie Conner's Lady Bearcats will look to take the momentum from Thursday's contest to the Claw Invitational this weekend in Jasper. Cullman plays Brookwood and Tuscaloosa County Friday night, Mortimer Jordan Saturday morning in the round-robin segment of the event hosted by Sumiton Christian School.
Cullman is 18-10 on the season.