GREENSBORO, N.C. – UNCG softball (18-7) swept a doubleheader 2-1 (eight innings) and 7-4 the against Canisius Golden Griffins (3-15) on Friday evening at UNCG Softball Stadium in the first day of the Spartan Classic. Stephanie Bryden (Orlando, Fla./East River) struck out a career-high 15 batters in the first game to help the Spartans improve to 3-0 in extra-innings games this season.
UNCG earned the walk-off win with two outs in the eighth inning. With Alexis Overdiep (Apex, N.C./Apex) starting on second base because of the international tiebreaker rule in effect for the tournament, she advanced to third base on a ground out to the shortstop by Jasmine Palmer (Cander, N.C./ Florida State). Gabi Cubbage (Felton, Del./Lake Forest) ended the game on a RBI-single to left field.
Canisius had just three hits but was able to score the first run in the sixth inning. A leadoff single to center field, fielding error, wild pitch and sacrifice fly produced the lone run for the Golden Griffins.
UNCG was able to tie the game up in the seventh inning. Makenna Matthijs (Greenville, N.C./D.H. Conley) led off with a double to center field and went to third base on a sacrifice bunt by Jordan Gontram (Wake Forest, N.C./Heritage). Bryden knocked in the run with a sacrifice fly to center field.
Bryden (7-1) threw her third complete game of the season and gave up just one unearned run, three hits and three walks.
Matthijs and Becca Kale (Hudson, N.C./South Caldwell) both went 2-3 at the plate.
After Canisius scored a run in the first inning with the help of two errors, UNCG responded with five runs in the bottom of the inning. Overdiep led off with an infield single, and a throwing error by the shortstop on a grounder by Palmer gave the Spartans two runners in scoring position. An infield single by Marisa Sholtes (Albany, N.Y./South Colonie Central) allowed Overdiep to slide in safely for the first run. With one out Matthijs singled to the shortstop to load the bases. Gontram doubled down the left field line to knock in Palmer and Sholtes. Kale then also doubled down the left field line to bring home Gontram and Matthijs.
The Golden Griffins scored in the fifth inning after a runner that reached base on an error scored on a RBI-single.
The Spartans responded with a run of their own in the inning. Emily Acquaviva (New Hartford, N.Y./New Hartford) hit a one-out double down to the left field line, advanced to third base on a wild pitch and scored on a two-out triple to left field by Overdiep. The triple was the first one of the year for UNCG.
Canisius cut its deficit to two runs in the next inning. Back-to-back doubles with one out produced the first run, and another error by UNCG aided the second run scored on a fielder’s choice with two outs.
The Spartans added an insurance run in the same inning. Matthijs drew a leadoff walk, advanced to second base on a wild pitch and went to third on another wild pitch that gave a walk to Gontram. Matthijs scored standing up on a sacrifice bunt by Kale.
Alicia Bazonski (Sheffield, Mass./Mount Everett) (8-2) threw her fifth complete game of the season and allowed two earned runs, six hits and two walks with eight strikeouts.
Overdiep was the only Spartan with two hits in the game. Sholtes singled in her only at-bat and had three walks. Kale collected three RBIs, and Gontram had two.
In the second day of the home classic, UNCG will face Canisius in the second game at 1:30 p.m. followed by a game against Towson.
-- UNCG –