Softball Sweeps Twin Billing on Opening Day of Battle at the Beach
CONWAY, S.C.- UNCG flexed its muscle Friday at the Battle at the Beach, pummeling Rider 19-1 in the opening game before earning a 4-1 victory over UMKC. The victories move the Spartans to 3-3 on the young season.
Kylie Bouplon (Wilson, N.C./Forsyth County Day) earned her first career win in the early game, tossing a one-hitter as UNCG blew out Rider. The freshman faced just one over the minimum, with her one mistake of the game going over the center field fence. Bouplon struck out three and allowed just one walk in her five innings of work.
Six different Spartans posted multiple hits, including eight extra-base knocks. Gabrielle Cubbage (Fleton, Del./Lake Forest) came up just a single short of the cycle, registering five RBIs and crossing the plate four times. Jasmine Palmer (Biltmore Lake, N.C./Florida State) hammered a pair of doubles, while Jordan Gontram (Wake Forest, N.C./Heritage) and Hagan (Asheboro, N.C./Southwestern) each tallied three RBIs.
The Spartans jumped out front early, plating three runs in the opening frame. Gontram got the fun started, singling to center to bring home Rachael McClaskey (Pine Hill, N.J./Overbrook). Tory Wright (Potomac Falls, Va./Dominion) followed with a single into left field to plate Cubbage and Gontram scored on a single by Kiser.
UNCG scratched across another run in the second as Palmer doubled home Rebecca Kale (Hudson, N.C./South Caldwell).
The third, though, is where things really broke open. The Spartans batted around in the frame, scoring nine runs on nine hits and a pair of Broncs errors. After Kiser scored Marisa Sholtes (Albany, N.Y./South Colonie Central) and Emily Acquaviva (New Hartford, N.Y./Stony Brook) on a double, pinch runner Emily Lopez (Charlotte, N.C./Olympic) came home on a Sidney Grkman (Salisbury, N.C./Jesse Carson) single.
Kale reached on an error at first base during the next at bat, allowing Grkman to score. Palmer brought Kale around with her second two-bagger of the game and Gontram scored Cubbage with a single. Following a pitching change, Lopez single to center field, plating Gontram and Acquaviva. Megan Ailand was able to stop the bleeding, striking out the final two batters of the frame.
UNCG added four more in the fourth inning on a two-RBI double by Cubbage, a sacrifice fly by Gontram and a Sholtes solo shot.
The Broncs pulled a run closer in the bottom half of the inning, breaking through against Bouplon when Monica Clark led off the frame with a dinger to center field.
The Blue and Gold came right back with a pair of their own in the fifth as Cubbage plowed an Ailand offering over the left field fence with Palmer on the base paths. The 18-run margin of victory was the most for UNCG since a 22-0 victory over Morgan State in 1995.
The offense wasn’t quite as boisterous in the later game against UMKC but managed to give Alicia Bazonski (Sheffield, Mass./Mount Everett) more than enough help in a 4-1 win for the Spartans.
The junior flamethrower went the distance, allowing a single earned run on six hits and a pair of walks in her seven innings in the circle, striking out three along the way.
Palmer once again showed out at the plate going one-for-two with a three-run homer. Alexis Overdiep (Apex, N.C./Apex) went two-for-three at the dish, scoring a run, while McClaskey delivered a solo home run.
The two sides traded scoreless innings until the bottom of the third, when the Spartans did all of their damage. After Kiser reached on an error at first base and Overdiep singled, Palmer put a charge into one and sent it over the fence in left. Moments later, McClaskey made it back-to-back dingers for UNCG, hammering a shot to center.
That was more than enough for Bazonski, who moves to 2-2 on the year.
UNCG is back in action at the Battle at the Beach on Saturday, once again battling rider at 10:00 a.m. before facing off against the host Chanticleers of Coastal Carolina at 5:30 p.m. Links to live coverage are available at UNCGSpartans.com.