March 25, 2012

Good Times Bad Times

AMERICUS, Ga – In 1969 the rock group Led Zeppelin released their hit "Good Times Bad Times", which was written by guitarist Jimmy Page. Nothing perhaps summarizes their Sunday double header versus Lander University (18-20, 2-10 PBC) better than the Page's chorus, "Good times, bad times, you know I've had my share". After another heartbreaking loss that saw Lander win via three runs in the seventh inning , The Lady Hurricanes would come back to win game two by a score of 5-2.

GAME ONE: Georgia Southwestern- 1  Lander- 3

It was another case of "Hurricane Heartbreak" in game one as a scoreless game after six innings was claimed victoriously by the Lady Bearcats in the game's final inning. Their three-run seventh inning gave the visitors the win, and it spoiled another start for senior Jessica Martin. It also marked the fifth time this season that Georgia Southwestern has lost in the final inning of a game.

Hits were few and far between for the Blue & Gold in the first game of the day as GSW only tallied three hits off of Lander's Hayley Leissner. After a first-inning single by Hayley Knight, the Lady 'Canes would get one more hit (Moreland's single in fifth) over the course of the first six innings of the game.

Despite the shortage of hits, the Lady Hurricanes were able to get a runner in scoring position in the second inning. With two outs in the inning, Ashley Cavender would walk and Jessica Chewning would get hit by a pitch to give GSW two base runners. Neither Cavender nor Chewning would be able to make their way around to home for a run.

GSW starter Jessica Martin would go four innings while scattering two hits, four walks and striking out three. She would be replaced by Brittny Dennison. Dennison would retire five of the first six batters she faced to push the scoreless tie into the seventh inning.

After a lead-off walk to Lander shortstop Casey Corbitt, errors by Mason Moreland and Avery Purser would load the bases for Lander. Dennison would limit the damage as Lander would score on a single and two sacrifices. Dennison would only be charged with one of the three Lander runs for the inning.

Down three runs and down to their final three outs, Georgia Southwestern was in need of a rally. The glimmer of hope got a little brighter after Rachel McElroy hit her second home run of the season to open things up in the seventh for GSW. Lander pitcher Hayley Leissner would settle down and retire the next three batters, which included two strikeouts, to preserve the win.

GAME TWO: Georgia Southwestern- 5  Lander- 2

The Lady 'Canes doubled their run production of game one in the first inning to give GSW the early 2-0 lead. Gabby Buck would drive in Hayley Knight from second with a double to left center. Buck would advance to third on a Avery Purser ground out before scoring on a wild pitch from Lander's Amanda Hamby.

The early lead would never be relinquished as Georgia Southwestern would lead from first to seventh inning.  The additional runs in the third, fifth and sixth innings would be more than enough for Georgia Southwestern pitchers Katie Maddox and Casey Burns.

Maddox would start the game and pitch the first five innings. She would give up six hits, two earned runs and one walk while recording three strikeouts. Burns would shut the door on Lander by retiring the side in order in the sixth and seventh innings.

The third Lady Hurricane run of the game came in bottom of the third inning with a McElroy double down the leftfield line. Two innings later, she would strike again as she singled up the middle to score Gabby Buck. It would the freshman's second RBI of the game (third of the day).

The three-run victory would bump the Georgia Southwestern record to 14-22 (1-9 PBC). After securing their first conference win at home, the Lady Hurricanes will host Albany State at home before going out in search of their first conference road win with a pair of series at Armstrong Atlantic and Flagler. The double header versus Albany State will be on Wednesday, March 28th with first pitch scheduled for 4:00 p.m.

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