March 26, 2011

GSW falls behind pack in postseason chase after losses at USCA

AIKEN, S.C. - The Georgia Southwestern softball team had an opportunity to put itself in the thick of the race for one of eight invites to the Peach Belt Conference Tournament in April, but now must make up ground over the final six PBC contests after being swept at USC Aiken on Saturday afternoon. The Lady 'Canes lost Game 1, 2-0, and fell in the nightcap, 3-2.

GSW dips to 20-24 overall and 4-10 in the PBC, two games behind USCA, Francis Marion and Georgia College for the seventh and eighth spots in the standings. USC Aiken improves to 21-11 overall and 6-8 in the PBC.

The Lady Hurricanes were held to three hits in the first game on Saturday.

USCA scored a run in the third and added an insurance run, aided by two Lady Hurricane errors, in the fourth. GSW committed four errors in Game 1.

Christie Shankle (5-9) sees her four-game winning streak snapped after allowing two runs - one earned - on nine hits in the complete-game effort. The freshman walked two and struck out two.

India Kornegay (9-4) earned the complete-game win behind three walks and eight strikeouts.

In Game 2, GSW rallied to tie the game twice, before USCA won it on a walk-off single in the seventh.

After the Pacers grabbed a 1-0 lead in the fourth inning, GSW answered in the sixth when Lyndi Duff doubled to left field with two outs to score Nichole Griffin. The Lady Hurricanes proceeded to load the bases, but were unable to push across another run in the inning. 

The Pacers regained the lead in the bottom of the sixth, but GSW answered again with a run in the seventh when Mason Moreland's one-out single to left field drove in Jessica Chewning, who led off the frame with a double.

With one out and the bases loaded in the home half of the seventh, USCA's Kylee Knop hit the game-winner up the middle.

Jessica Martin (6-7) took the loss for GSW after allowing three runs on nine hits, while walking six and striking out five.

Nichole Griffin led the Lady 'Canes at the plate with a 2-for-4 performance.

Southwestern entertains No. 5 North Georgia on Friday at 5 p.m.