Hodge's 7th inning HR gives GSW sweep

DUE WEST, S.C. - With two outs, the game tied at 1-1 in the seventh inning and Nichole Griffin at first base, Heather Hodge delivered a game-winning home run to lift the Georgia Southwestern softball team to a doubleheader sweep of Erskine College on Wednesday afternoon at the EC Softball Complex. The Lady Hurricanes won Game 1, 6-4, and took the nightcap, 3-1, on Hodge's heroics.

With the sweep, GSW is in the midst of a three-game winning streak with a 19-21 overall record. Erskine drops to 15-10-1.

Game 1 on Wednesday was a back-and-forth sloppy affair as the two schools combined for nine errors. GSW took the lead in the first behind a single, two walks and Hodge's fielder's choice ground ball that brought home Gabby Buck.

Erskine answered with run in the bottom of the inning and two more in the third.

The Hurricanes regained the lead in the fifth with three runs behind four hits and RBIs from Hodge, Cayla Smith and Katie Maddox.

Erskine tied the game at 4-4 in the sixth, but three hits and two errors in the seventh led to the final two runs by GSW. Jessica Martin had an RBI single.

Buck and Martin had two hits apiece to lead GSW. All nine slots in the batting order reached base safely in the contest.

Christie Shankle (4-8) earned the complete-game win, scattering four hits, walking three and striking out three. Only one of Erskine's four runs was earned.

In the nightcap, GSW starting pitcher Tiffany Milstid (1-1) kept Erskine batters in check, allowing one unearned run in seven innings. Milstid surrendered only three hits, walked two and struck out six.

Hodge put GSW in the lead, 1-0, in the third inning with an RBI single and delivered the base-clearing shot in the seventh.

Erskine scored its lone run in the fourth inning, temporarily tying the game at 1-1.

Griffin led GSW with a 3-for-4 performance at the plate in Game 2. Hodge finished 2-for-4 with three RBIs and Erin Vick went 2-for-3.

Southwestern begins the final half of its eight-game road trip with a doubleheader at Augusta State on Friday.