Mixed results in the Carolinas for Lady Canes Softball
Published 11:37 am Monday, April 9, 2018
By Staff Reports
FLORENCE. SC – The GSW Lady Hurricanes Softball Team had mixed results on their road trip through the Carolinas. On Friday, April,6, the Lady Canes swept a doubleheader against UNC Pembroke in Pembroke, NC, winning 6-4 in Game 1 and 6-3 in Game 2. However. They traveled to Florence, SC to take on Francis Marion on Sunday, April 8, and lost a doubleheader to the Patriots, losing 8-0 in Game 1 and 9-1 in Game 2.
As a result, GSW is now 18-25 overall and 7-7 in the Peach Belt Conference.
In the first game against UNC Pembroke, the Lady Canes scored six runs in the top of the second inning. UNC Pembroke scored two runs in the third and two in the seventh to make it interesting, but GSW held on to win 6-4.
Freshman Chloe Zoeller recorded four hits in the doubleheader to help the Lady Canes take the two-game series.
In the top of the second, Zoeller led off with a single and moved to second on a wild pitch. She then advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt by Cassidy Burton. Ansley Dean laid down a sacrifice bunt, scoring Zoeller and advancing Graysen Sanders to third. Sanders had earlier reached on a walk.
Mikela Barlow drew a walk to load the bases for Hayley Tierce. Tierce promptly produced a grand slam home run. At that time, Tierce led the conference in home runs with 14 and her RBI total was at 45. GSW added the sixth run of the inning when Shannon Gibson singled to drive in Lauren Kuerzi. Kuerzi had doubled in the previous at bat.
Madason Messer earned her team high eighth win of the season, going the distance while allowing four earned runs on 10 hits with three strikeouts.
In Game 2, the Braves jumped ahead in the first inning, scoring a run on two hits off GSW starter Shannon Gibson. The Lady Canes tied the game on an RBI single by Lauren Kuerzi. UNC Pembroke scored two runs in the bottom of the third on a two-run single by Tatum Brummitt.
Gibson was replaced by Ansley Dean. Dean pitched four consecutive innings in relief, allowing seven hits while striking out two. The Lady Canes scored two runs to tie the game at 3-3 on an RBI single by Kuerzi and a sacrifice fly by Shannon Gibson.
GSW scored the game-winning run and added two more insurance runs for Dean in the seventh. Tierce led off the inning with a double. After a sacrifice bunt by Elizabeth Wills, Tierce came around to score on a throwing error. An RBI double by Gibson and an RBI sacrifice bunt by pinch-hitter KayLynn Church made the score 6-3. Dean gave up two singles in the bottom of the seventh, but the Braves’ Lexi Coxe to ground out to end the game.
From Pembroke, NC, it was on to Florence, SC for a doubleheader with Francis Marion on Sunday, April 8. The Lady Canes were hoping to keep the momentum going against the Lady Patriots. However, Francis Marion put a halt to GSW’s winning streak. The Lady Canes were blanked 8-0 in Game 1 and 9-1 in Game 2.
Francis Marion jumped out early in the first game. The Lady Patriots scored three runs in the first, two in the second and three in the third to put away GSW 8-0. GSW could only manage one hit off of FMU starter Sydney Holland. Holland went the full five innings, walking one and striking out four. That lone hit came from Mikela Barlow, who led off the top of the fourth inning with a double. However, the next three GSW batters were set down in order.
The game was shortened to five innings due to the run rule. Holland improved her record to 11-12, while the Lady Canes’ Madason Messer dropped to 8-5.
In Game 2, things started off well for GSW. They scored the first run of the game in the third inning. Mikela Barlow led off the inning with a single and advanced to second on a fielder’s choice. Barlow scored when Lauren Kuerzi was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded.
However, that would be the only time of the game that GSW would be in the lead. From then on, it was all Francis Marion. The Lady Patriots got to GSW starter Ansley Dean in the bottom of the third. They scored three runs on three hits to take a 3-1 lead.
GSW could only muster one more hit off of FMU starter Samantha Wroblewski and Sydney Holland in relief. Barlow went 2-for-3 to lead the Lady Canes while Shannon Gibson and Lauren Kuerzi each recorded a hit in two at bats.
The Lady Patriots scored two more runs in the fifth off Dean and four more runs off GSW reliever Brittany Childs to nail down their second victory of the day.
GSW is now 18-25 overall and are in sixth place in the Peach Belt Conference at 7-7. It doesn’t get any easier for them as they return home to host North Georgia (43-2, 11-1). The Lady Nighthawks are the conference leaders and are ranked #2 in the nation in the NCAA Division II Top 25. The doubleheader begins Saturday, April 14. First pitch for Game 1 is at 1 p.m., followed by the second game at 3 p.m.