PEMBROKE, N.C. -- Freshman Chloe Zoeller recorded four hits in two games on the way to helping the Georgia Southwestern State University softball team to a doubleheader road sweep of UNC Pembroke Friday.
The Lady Canes improved to 18-23 overall and 7-5 in Peach Belt Conference play with the victories while UNC Pembroke fell to 22-14 and 2-8 in conference play this spring.
How It Happened:
Game 1: Georgia Southwestern 6 UNC Pembroke 4
GSW scored all of the runs they needed in the second inning behind starter Madason Messer. Zoeller started the frame with a single and moved to second on a wild pitch before going to third on a Cassidy Burton sacrifice bunt. Ansley Dean followed by reaching first on a fielder's choice sacrifice bunt that scored Zoeller and advanced Graysen Sanders to third after she walked earlier in the inning.
Mikela Barlow drew a walk to load the bases for Hayley Tierce and she came through with a grand slam for her conference leading 14th home run of the season while pushing her RBI total to 45. The Lady Canes added their sixth run when Shannon Gibson singled through the left side to score Lauren Kuerzi who doubled in the previous at bat.
Messer picked up her team-high eighth win of the season after she escaped trouble in the bottom of the seventh, going the complete game while allowing four earned runs on 10 hits with three strikeouts.
Game 2: Georgia Southwestern 6 UNC Pembroke 3
The Braves jumped in front early, scoring a run on two hits in the first inning off GSW starter Shannon Gibson. The Lady Canes evened it up in the third on a Kuerzi RBI single that brought home Barlow. UNCP knocked Gibson out of the game and took a 3-1 lead in the third after a 2-run single off the bat of Tatum Brummitt.
Dean replaced Gibson and put four consecutive scoreless innings on the board in relief, allowing seven hits while striking out two. GSW tied the game in the fifth thanks to another Kuerzi RBI single and a Gibson sacrifice fly that made it 3-3.
The Lady Canes scored the game-winning run and added insurance for Dean in the seventh. Tierce started the inning with a double and came around to give GSW its first lead on a throwing error after Elizabeth Wills put down a sacrifice bunt. An RBI double from Gibson and an RBI sacrifice bunt from pinch-hitter KayLynn Church made it 6-3. Dean gave up two singles in the bottom half, but got Lexie Coxe to groundout and end the game for her third win of the season.
Gibson and Kuerzi both went 2-for-3 at the plate with two RBIs and Zoeller notched her second straight 2-for-4 outing of the day to lead GSW.
Up Next: The Lady Canes four-game PBC road trip concludes Sunday with a doubleheader at Francis Marion. The first game is scheduled to start at 1:00 p.m. with the second game to follow at 3:00.