The Georgia Southwestern softball team opened Peach Belt Conference play with a pair of losses at UNC Pembroke on Sunday afternoon. The Lady Hurricanes were held to a single hit and UNCP collected seven unearned runs off three GSW errors in game one, an 8-0 loss. An eight-run fourth inning in game two lifted UNCP to the sweep of the Lady Hurricanes in an 11-7 slugfest.
GSW (2-6, 0-2 PBC) got four RBI from shortstop Lyndi Duff, who went 3-for-6 at the plate with a double and a home run. Gabby Buck went 3-for-5 with a RBI and a walk while scoring two runs for the Hurricanes, who drop their first two PBC games for the third year in a row.
Jelena Shaw went 5-for-6 on the day to lead the Braves (5-2, 2-0) with five runs scored while accounting for 11 total bases. Holly Berry and Morgan Patrick each went 4-for-6 in the two-game set with Berry collecting four RBI and Patrick earning three RBI.
Southwestern wraps-up a Carolina swing tomorrow with a doubleheader at Francis Marion beginning at 1:00 p.m.
GAME ONE: UNCP 8, GSW 0 (5 Inn.)
UNCP jumped out to a quick lead against the Lady Hurricanes when Shaw homered in the bottom of the first over the left field wall to put the Braves up 1-0 after one. A Lynn Grantham double in the bottom of the second drove in another run for the Black & Gold who led 2-0 after two.
After GSW went 3-up, 3-down in the top of the third and fourth innings Pembroke pushed six unearned runs across in the bottom of the fourth, highlighted by a Burwell bases-clearing double down the right field line. Heading into the top of the fifth UNCP held an 8-0 lead.
The Hurricanes were unable to post a run in the top half of the fifth as GSW was run-ruled in the first game of the doubleheader. Mariko Nomura was credited with the loss, falling to 1-3 on the season.
Newman picked up the win for the Braves, retiring 10 batters in a row at one point.
GAME TWO: UNCP 11, GSW 7
It would be the Hurricanes who would jump out to an early lead in game two against the Braves, scoring a run in the top of the first on a Buck double to right-center to drive in a run from second. After one inning GSW led 1-0.
In the top of the third the Southwestern bats would come alive, scoring four runs in the frame highlighted by a Duff double that drove in two runs for GSW. In their half of the inning the Hurricanes scored four runs on four hits to jump out to a 5-0 lead.
Pembroke waited until the fourth inning to answer GSW's big inning with one of its own. After Shaw bunted safely and Courtney Hill doubled to give UNCP runners at second and third, Berry singled up the middle to cut the Hurricanes' lead to 5-2.
Randi Pruitt doubled down the left field line to give the Braves runners at second and third once again, only to have Patrick triple to right-center to plate two more runners for Pembroke. Grantham earned a RBI on fielder's choice in which Patrick scored from third to tie the game at five runs apiece.
After a Burwell walk and a sacrifice bunt by Amanda Santos, Shaw hit her second homer to left of the day to put the Braves up 8-5 after four complete innings.
Patrick drove in another run in the fifth while Berry and Loren Bartz each collected a RBI in the sixth to put the Braves up 11-5 after six. Southwestern scored a pair of runs Duff homer to left but the rally would fall short as UNCP picked up its fifth victory of the season.
Katie Wooten - shifting over from third base - was credited with the loss in relief for GSW, falling to 0-1 on the season. Wooten, making her first pitching appearance in 55 games played with the Lady Hurricanes, gave up four runs on four hits in an inning of work.