The Spartan’s were back in action this weekend in the Spartan invitational. The UNCG softball team has been off to a fair start with their record coming into the weekend set at 5-4. Highlights thus far in the semester include a 19-1 routing of the Rider Broncs on Feb 17 and a 2-1 close win over Coastal Carolina on February 18th. The team this season is still striving to find their identity as the face George Washington University and Longwood University of Virginia.
This weekend as a whole for the Spartans can best be defined as a night and day difference between the Saturday and Sunday game slates.
On Saturday, the Spartans showed an affinity for the homer as they totaled five home runs in two wins against Longwood University and George Washington University to start the Spartan Invitational. The early game against George Washington University saw the Spartans overcome an early deficit to win 6-2. Alicia Bazonski came on to pitch in relief and captured her fourth win of the season behind 2.2 shutout innings. Her stat line also featured one strike out. Kylie Boupon was the starter in the match and she pitched 4.1 innings allowing two earned runs, one hit, and a walk. However, the highlight of this game is the fact that the blue and gold managed only four hits but managed to score six runs. The offense was bolstered by five walks. The highlight of the offense in this match was Alexis Overdiep. She was the only Spartan with multiple hits, she also had two stolen bases, and scored a run.
Alicia Bazonski started the late game against Longwood University in which she pitched a complete game. She picked up her fifth win of the season, and second of the day, by pitching 7.0 innings of four hit ball. She allowed only two runs, one earned and struck out four batters over her 7.0 innings. Gabrielle Cubbage, Marisa Sholtes, Emily Acquaviva, and Kayleigh Willis all added a homer of their own to the box score for the game. The Spartan’s seized the lead early in the match with a homer by Cubbage off Longwood pitcher Elizabeth McCarthy in the first inning. However, the Longwood lancers would not go away easily as they seized the 2-1 lead in the fifth inning after Alivia Bazonski gave up a homer with one on base. This lead quickly disappeared as the first pitch of the bottom of the fifth inning was sent flying past the wall by Acquaviva. From there on out it was the Spartan offense which took over as four more runs were tacked on in the sixth inning behind a pair of homers.
The Sunday games showed a very different Spartan softball team. While Saturday was marked by five home runs, the Spartans on Sunday only mustered five runs total. In game one against George Washington University, Alicia Bazonski once again took the mound. Unlike the previous day, she struggled to find her stuff as she surrendered seven runs over 3.1 innings. UNCG only managed to get home a single run in the bottom of the first to tie the game. From that point forward, it was all George Washington. George Washington added ten runs to the scoreboard on twelve hits, five walks, and a Jenna Cone grand slam. The Colonials had a six run second inning and added two more runs in the third and one more in the fourth to complete their five inning loss of the Spartans
The final game was much of the same with a silenced Spartan offense. Bazonski once again started the game this time with better results. She pitched the entire seven inning game allowing four runs, three which were earned, on nine hits. She also added five strikeouts to her box score. It is of note that both pitchers took a no hitter into the fourth but Longwood University eventually solved the puzzle of Bazonski. They scored one run in the sixth and added three more in the seventh. The Spartans had no answer for Longwood pitcher Sydney Gay, managing only two singles for the entire game.
The Spartans now sit at 7-6 on the year and hope to brush off the hard losses moving forward.