This weekend saw the softball team hosted the Spartan Classic tournament at the UNCG Spartan Softball Stadium. Friday kicked off with a doubleheader against Canisius, with the first game starting at 3 p.m. and the second beginning at 5 p.m. The following day, two more games were played, against Canisius at 1:30 p.m and Towson at 4 p.m. The final game was played last Sunday at 12:30 p.m. against Towson. The Blue and Gold had a 16-7 record overall before the weekend tournament.
The first game was won by the Spartans by a margin of 2-1 in eight innings. Spartan pitching in this game was phenomenal, as Stephanie Bryden pitched all eight innings and only gave up three hits and one run to the Golden Griffins. She also struck out 15 Griffin batters. Canisius got its first run in the sixth inning off the bat of Kara Paradowski. However, the Spartans got one run apiece in both the seventh and eighth innings. Makenna Matthijs came in clutch at the end of the game by knocking in Alexis Overdiep to give the Spartans the victory.
The second game score was 7-4, with UNCG snagging the victory. While Canisius put up one run in the top of the first, the Spartans busted out of the gate in this game in the bottom of the first by putting up five runs. Marisa Sholtes, Jordan Gontram and Rebecca Kale all knocked in runs in the bottom of the inning. The Griffins scored once more in the fifth inning on an error, yet the Spartans also got Emily Acquaviva home off the bat of Overdiep to match the run. Two more runs were put up by Canisius in the sixth inning, but ultimately it was not enough to overcome UNCG, who put up one more run, from Matthijs, off of two walks and two wild pitches. Alicia Bazonski put up decent game herself, pitching seven innings and giving up six hits, four runs and striking out eight.
The following day, another doubleheader kicked off with the last game against Canisius, which the Spartans won 9-1 in six innings. UNCG started out the first inning with two runs off the bats of Sholtes and Matthijs. Canisius put up one run in the top of the fifth inning, but the Spartans put up two in the bottom of the inning off of a single from Jasmine Palmer and a homer from Gabi Cubbage. In the bottom of the sixth inning, the team exploded with five runs and was able to end the game on the run rule. Jordan Gontram led off with a homer, followed by Melanie Darges who knocked in two runners. Cubbage hit a RBI-single and Sholtes ended the game with her own RBI-single. Kylie Bouplon started at the mound and threw six innings, with one run and six hits given up to the Golden Griffins.
The following game was played against Towson Tigers. The Spartans still got the victory, though, by a narrow margin of 3-2. The Tigers put up one run apiece in the top of the first and third innings, which left the Spartans in a hole. However, they were able to storm back in the bottom of the seventh inning and put up two runs off the bat of pitch-hitter Kayleigh Willis. The Spartans got the game-winner from Sholtes, as she knocked Palmer home with a single. Bazonski pitched all eight innings of this game, giving up six hits and two runs while striking out seven.
The last game of the weekend was played on Sunday afternoon against the Tigers once more. The Spartans defeated Towson 10-4 in the final game. Towson put up one run in the top of the first inning and UNCG matched that when Matthijs hit a two-out double to get a runner in. In the second inning, Rachael McClaskey hit her first homer of the day to give the UNCG their first lead of the day. Towson tied up the game once more in the top of the third, but UNCG put up three runs in the bottom of the third thanks to Sholtes first home run of the day, which was then followed by Stephanie Bryden hitting a two-run shot to increase the score to 5-2. The team put up another run in the fourth. McClaskey hit her second homer of the game in the fifth and increased the score to 8-2. The Tigers put up two runs in the fifth as well, but by this point it was too late. UNCG knocked in two more runs in the bottom of the sixth to increase the lead to 10-4. Bryden and Bazonski both pitched in this game. Bryden gave up 4 runs and Bazonski came in and replaced her for the last three innings of the game.
All-in-all, last weekend was a great one for Spartan softball. They went 5-0 and now have a 21-7 record. They continue their season with a two-game doubleheader against Appalachian State at home in the UNCG Softball Stadium this afternoon.