Softball Sweeps Twin Bill with Western Carolina to Begin SoCon Play
GREENSBORO, N.C. – Making its Southern Conference debut for the 2017 season, UNCG earned a doubleheader sweep over Western Carolina Saturday afternoon at the UNCG Softball Stadium.
Gabrielle Cubbage (Felton, Del./Lake Forest) was clearly seeing the ball well all day, going 5-for-6 at the dish with eight RBIs and three runs scored. Her six RBIs in the second game are tied for the fourth most in school history.
The Spartans upended the Catamounts 6-0 in the early game, with Alicia Bazonski (Sheffield, Mass./Mount Everett) earning the win. The native New Englander tossed all seven innings, shutting out WCU while allowing four hits and striking out seven.
UNCG claimed a 1-0 lead early in the first as Jasmine Palmer (Lake Biltmore, N.C./Florida State) was hit by the fourth pitch of the game and Overdiep followed with a double. During the next at-bat, Cubbage produced a sacrifice fly to left field.
The Blue and Gold doubled its lead in the second without actually registering a hit. After Rachael McClaskey (Pine Hill, N.J./Overbrook) was walked and Emily Acquaviva (New Hartford, N.Y./Stony Brook) and Palmer were hit by pitches, Cubbage drew a walk allowing McClaskey to trot home.
In the third, the Spartans opened the game up in loud fashion. Sidney Grkman (Salisbury, N.C./Jesse Carson) and McClaskey eached laced one-out singles and Acquaviva drew a walk to load the bases for Palmer. The Florida State transfers bat stayed hot as she plowed a Lily Hayes offering over the fence for a grand slam.
That was far more than enough insurance for Bazonski, who had all of her stuff working in the circle.
In the second game, Kylie Bouplon (Wilson, N.C./Forsyth Country Day) took to the rubber, earning the win to move to 6-4 on the season. The freshman allowed a pair of unearned runs on three hits, issuing three walks and striking out two.
The Spartans jumped all over the Catamounts, plating three runs in each of the first, second and third innings. You couldn’t have asked for a much better start, as Palmer and Overdiep both walked to lead off the game and Cubbage cranked a three-run shot to center field.
In the second, Palmer again drew four balls and Overdiep brought her home with a triple to left-center. Cubbage followed with a single to plate the speedy outfielder and came around on the very next pitch when Tory Wright (Potomac Falls, Va./Dominion) sent a double to right-center field.
Acquaviva got the third inning started with a lead-off homer to left and was followed by a Jordan Gontram (Wake Forest, N.C./Heritage) walk. Gontram was lifted for pinch-runner Danielle Bieberle (Winter Haven, Fla./Auburndale), who scored on a Rebecca Kale (Hudson, N.C./South Caldwell) triple deep to the center of the park. Kale was brought home by a Cubbage single to complete the frame, putting UNCG up 9-0.
In the fifth, Bieberle made a highlight-reel snag, robbing Kassandra Flores of a home run while crashing into the left field fence. The Catamounts, though, scored twice in the inning to keep the game alive at 9-2.
However, it wouldn’t last much longer as Cubbage completed her big day with a walk-off dinger to right field, giving the Spartans the victory via the run rule.
The Blue and Gold will return to the UNCG Softball Stadium on Sunday to wrap up the three-game series with Western Carolina. First pitch is scheduled for 1:00 p.m. Links to live coverage are available at UNCGSpartans.com.