UNCG Softball Bats One for Four on Opening Weekend

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Brandon Combs
  Staff Writer

The UNCG Softball team was back in action for the Spring 2017 Season. They began the season with a four game stand in the Eagle Round Robin tournament hosted in Statesboro, Georgia at Georgia Southern University. The four game tournament stand featured games against Tennessee Tech University, the host Georgia Southern University, and two games against No.15 ranked team in the nation, University of Tennessee. The UNCG softball team hopes to make some noise in what is believed to be a wide open Southern Conference.

The Spartans began their season against the Tennessee Tech University Golden Eagles. The team started on a high note with the Southern Conference Preseason Pitcher of the Year, Alicia Bazonski, toeing the rubber. Alicia Bazonski pitched 5.0 innings, surrendering only four hits, two runs, one earned and added four strikeouts to her box score line on the day. Kylie Bouplon closed out the final two innings of the game for the Lady Spartans. Her box score read two hits, one earned run, and one strikeout to end the game. The Spartan offense was led by Gabrielle Cubbage, she chipped in three hits, three RBIs, and a pair of runs scored on two doubles and a home run. Six other Spartans had hits in the contest. While the Golden Eagles jumped out to an early 1-0 lead in the top of the first, the Spartans scored three in the bottom of the frame and cruised to a 6-3 win.

The second game of the four game weekend, featured the Spartans toeing off against the hosts and former SOCON rival, Georgia Southern. The SOCON Preseason Pitcher of the Year, Alicia Bazonski, once again took the mound to start the game. She pitched 5.0 solid innings allowing only three hits, one run, and added another strikeout to bring her season total to five. Kylie Bouplon had her second appearance out of the bullpen logging one inning of work, while giving up two runs to Georgia Southern. The Spartan offense was unable to solve the enigma of GSU’s Dixie Raley, who surrendered only one hit for the game. Tory Wright had the only hit for the blue and gold.

The third game of the four game weekend had the blue and gold against the number fifteen team in the nation, The University of Tennessee Volunteers (3-0). The third game of the Eagle Round Robin of the tournament was another stutter for the Spartan’s as they fell 7-1 in the game, and 1-2 on the season. Alicia Bazonski started her third game of the season providing 4.2 inning pitched. Bazonski surrendered seven runs and struck out one batter. Kylie Bouplon again entered in relief, providing 1.1 innings pitched, while walking one, and retiring four. The highlight of the game for the Spartan’s was an early 1-0 lead which featured a 10-pitch at bat by Jasmine Palmer. Once on base, Palmer advanced to third on two passed balls. Rachael McClaskey singled to get Palmer home and provided UNCG with the short lived 1-0 lead. The Volunteers tacked on two runs in the first inning, one run in the third, one run in the fourth, and three runs in the fifth.

For the fourth and final game of the Eagle Round Robin, the Spartans went against the undefeated University of Tennessee Volunteers (4-0). The highlight of the match for the Spartans was Marisa Sholtes solo home run, the first of her career. The Spartans dropped the final game in a landslide of 13-1.  Kylie Bouplon got her first start of the season going two innings, while yielding three hits, five earned runs, and three walks. Alicia Bazonski came in on relief, giving up 10 hits and eight runs across three innings. The Spartan offense was led by Emily Acquaviva who picked up two of the four hits. From the very first inning, the Lady Vols were in charge adding a homer in the first half inning. By the end of the fifth inning the Volunteers had a thirteen run lead.

The UNCG Spartans are back in action on February 17 as it faces off against Rider and the University of Missouri Kansas City at the Battle of the Beach tournament, hosted by Coastal Carolina University. They Spartans sit at a record of 1-3 for the season.



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