MADEIRA BEACH, Fla. – UNCG softball (6-2) won a pair of 3-2 games on Saturday on Rec Center Fields 1 and 2 in the second day of the Eastern Michigan Madeira Beach Spring Invitational, defeating UMKC (3-5) and Virginia (3-6). Both victories required a late run by the Spartans to break a 2-2 tie.
Opening the day with UMKC, UNCG won in walk-off fashion. Jasmine Palmer (Cander, N.C./ Florida State) led off the bottom of the seventh inning with a single through the left side and then went to second base on a wild pitch. After Alexis Overdiep (Apex, N.C./Apex) got an infield single to the shortstop, Makenna Matthijs (Greenville, N.C./D.H. Conley) delivered the game-winning hit on a double to right field that allowed Palmer to jog home. The hit was the second walk-off for Matthijs this season.
Stephanie Bryden (Orlando, Fla./East River) entered the inning with a no-hitter intact. The Kangaroos quickly tied up the game in the inning with a leadoff single up the middle followed by a home run down the left field line. After a single to right field, Hannah Stiltner (Mebane, N.C./ Eastern Alamance) entered the circle. Stiltner got a fly out to left field and then a strikeout. After hitting a batter, she ended UMKC’s scoring threat with a groundout in what ended being her first collegiate win.
Bryden walked two batters and had six strikeouts in her six innings pitched.
The Spartans scored their first two runs in the second inning. Jordan Gontram (Wake Forest, N.C./Heritage) led off with her second home run of the weekend with a shot down the left field line. Kayleigh Willis (Virginia Beach, Va./Frank W. Cox) singled through the left side and Bryden was then hit by a pitch. Palmer knocked in Willis with a single up the middle.
In the second game of the day, UNCG scored the game-winning run in the bottom of the fifth inning. With one out Gontram singled through the left side and advanced to third on a double to right center by Palmer. Rachael McClaskey (Pine Hill, N.J./Overbrook) then hit a two-out RBI-single up the middle.
Virginia put runners on second and third with one out in the seventh inning on a walk and single to right field. Alicia Bazonski (Sheffield, Mass./Mount Everett) scooped up a fielder’s choice and threw it to catcher Becca Kale (Hudson, N.C./South Caldwell) for the second out. Bazonski ended the game with a strikeout.
Bazonski (3-1) threw her first complete game of the season. She gave up five hits and just one walk with four strikeouts.
The Cavaliers had tied the game with a run in the top of the fifth inning. After a leadoff triple to right field, the runner was able to race home safely on a groundout to the shortstop McClaskey.
The Spartans grabbed their first lead of the game in the first inning. With one out Matthijs hit an infield single to the pitcher. Gabi Cubbage (Felton, Del./Lake Forest) and Marisa Sholtes (Albany, N.Y./South Colonie Central) both singled through the left side, and Matthijs was able to score on a fielding error by the third baseman.
The Cavaliers tied it up in the second inning on a leadoff home run to left center.
UNCG got the lead back with a homer of its own. Cubbage got her first of the year to right field to lead off the bottom of the third inning.
Matthijs and Cubbage both went 2-4 in the game with a run. Seven different Spartans collected hits.
UNCG will close out the tournament on Sunday with Lipscomb at 2 p.m.
-- UNCG --