The weekend of April 14 went fairly well for the Spartan softball team, as they went two out-of-three in a triple game series series SoCon rival Samford. All three games were played at UNCG on our softball fields. The first two games in the series were victories, however the Spartans could not pull off the sweep, as they lost the final game.
The first game was played on Friday, April 14. The first pitch was thrown at 1:00 p.m. This was a shorter game, as only five innings were played instead of the typical seven, thanks to the lead the Spartans mounted against the Bulldogs. The final score was a solid 9-1.
Starting pitcher, Alicia Bazonski, played all five innings, only giving up one run off of three hits, and even managed three strikeouts. The team was on fire offensively too, with nine hits, seven RBIs and nine runs in total. To name some players who scored, Jasmine Palmer had one run, a single hit and one RBI, while Marisa Sholtes went five-for-six, with one scored run and two RBIs. Rachael McClaskey had two hits and two runs, with a single RBI. The only Samford player who scored was Rebecca Leonard in the top of the fifth. The Spartans were consistent throughout the game, but they really broke it open in the bottom of the fifth inning where they scored six runs.
The second game of the doubleheader was played immediately after the first game on April 14, at 3:30 p.m. The outcome of this game was another victory, with the final score being 9-3. The pitching continued to be effective, as two pitchers played this game.
Kylie Bouplon only pitched 2.1 innings, giving up three hits and three runs. She had two strikeouts, but ultimately got pulled and replaced by Stephanie Bryden, who pitched 4.2 innings, giving up one hit and zero runs. She struck out four Bulldogs herself. Offensively, the Blue and Gold played well.
The game was considered close until the sixth inning, where the Spartans got going. We scored in the first inning off of a well-hit double by Marisa Sholtes, which brought Jasmine Palmer home for the run. The game got exciting in the top of the third inning. Samford took its first lead in the game, their Kelsey Royalty came out with a three-run homer. The Spartans scored one run in the fifth inning, which came from Danielle Bieberle off of a sacrifice fly to right field by Rachael McClaskey. The sixth inning was an offensive explosion from the Spartans, where the Blue and Gold scored seven runs. Alexis Overdiep, Gabrielle Cubbage and Marisa Sholtes all brought in quality runs for the Spartans.
The third and final game of the series was played the following on April 15, at 1:00 p.m. at the UNCG Softball Stadium. It was a close game, but ultimately the Spartans fell to Samford on a score of 5-2. It was a tough game for the starting pitcher Alicia Bazonski, who played 2.1 innings. She gave up four runs off of five hits. She struck out two Samford players, but got pulled and replaced by Stephanie Bryden. She fared better when it came to given up runs, but through 3.2 innings she gave up one run off six hits, striking out one player. She got pulled during the game as well and was replaced by Kylie Bouplon who only played an inning. She gave up only one hit and struck out two Samford girls herself.
Samford’s starting pitcher Grey Adams played a good game, pitching seven innings and giving up two runs from five hits. Adams also struck out five Spartans. The first inning of the game was exciting offensively for both squads, with five runs in total between the teams being batted in.
Two of the three runs from Samford came from separate Spartan defensive errors by Alicia Bazonski and Rebecca Kale. Samford’s Kathryn Jackson also scored off a single. The Spartans got hits from Jasmine Palmer and Alexis Overdiep in the bottom of the first. Cubbage advanced both off of a sacrifice bunt. Ultimately, Marisa Sholtes got both Palmer and Overdiep home with a two-RBI single hit. Samford scored one run in the top of the second inning. No other runs were scored until the top of the seventh inning, when Samford’s Kathryn Jackson singled.
All-in-all, the Spartans played well in this series, scoring 18 runs on Samford in the first two games. Pitching was fairly good overall in all three games too. The Spartans next game will be played this Wednesday, April 19 at Elon. The team is currently 23-18 overall and 7-5 in SoCon play.