GREENSBORO, N.C. – UNCG softball (24-7, 3-0) won both games of its doubleheader against the Furman Paladins (24-9, 0-3) 22-0 (five innings) and 1-0 on Sunday afternoon at UNCG Softball Stadium to sweep the opening Southern Conference weekend series. The Spartans outscored the Paladins 27-1 in the series with Saturday’s 4-1 win.
The 22 runs in the first game tied for the sixth-highest number of runs scored in a game in program history and fourth-most in Division I. The Spartans hadn’t scored these many runs since a 32-0 win over North Carolina A&T on April 5, 1995. UNCG scored 22 runs in a 22-2 victory over Avella on March 21, 1988 and 22-0 win against Morgan State on Feb. 20, 1995.
Matthijs led the way, going 4-4 with four runs and seven RBIs. Her hits and RBIs tied for second-most in a single game in program history while her runs tied for third-most.
UNCG opened the game with 10 runs in the opening frame. Makenna Matthijs (Greenville, N.C./D.H. Conley) started things off with a single to centerfield. After Gabi Cubbage (Felton, Del./Lake Forest) singled on a bunt, Marisa Sholtes (Albany, N.Y./South Colonie Central) advanced both runners on a sacrifice bunt. Stephanie Bryden (Orlando, Fla./East River) doubled to left field to knock in both runners. After Jasmine Palmer (Cander, N.C./ Florida State) got the second single off a bunt in the inning, a wild pitch allowed Bryden to score. Rachael McClaskey (Pine Hill, N.J./Overbrook) drew a walk, and Palmer then scored on a squeeze bunt by Becca Kale (Hudson, N.C./South Caldwell). A fielding error by the center fielder loaded the bases. With two outs Matthijs cleared the bases with a double to right center and then scored on a single by Cubbage that dropped on the right field line. The bases were cleared again on a two-run homer to right center by Sholtes.
After a scoreless second inning, the Spartans added eight more runs in the third. Matthijs once again began things with a leadoff single through the left side and advanced to second base on a wild pitch. After Cubbage reached base on a fielding error by the third baseman, a wild pitch allowed Matthijs to score. Sholtes singled up the middle, and Palmer hit a sacrifice fly to centerfield to bring home Cubbage. One-out consecutive singles through the left side by Kale and Jordan Gontram (Wake Forest, N.C./Heritage) produced a run. After Alexis Overdiep (Apex, N.C./Apex) walked, Matthijs hit a grand slam to left center, her third home run of the year.
UNCG added four more runs the next inning. Sholtes hit her second homer of the day and eighth of the season to right center. Melanie Darges (Raleigh, N.C./Athens Drive Magnet) was hit by a pitch, and Palmer singled to centerfield. With one-out, pinch-hitter Kendall McKinney (Suwanee, Ga./North Gwinnett) hit her first home run of the season, a three-run shot to over centerfield past the Spartan Statue.
At the plate eight different Spartans had hits and a RBI. Sholtes and Bryden both went 3-3 with three RBIs.
Alicia Bazonski (Sheffield, Mass./Mount Everett) and Hannah Stiltner (Mebane, N.C./ Eastern Alamance) combined for a no-hitter. The starting pitcher, Bazonski didn’t allow any hits or walks with two strikeouts in three innings. Stiltner gave up no hits and three walks with a strikeout.
Only one run was needed in the next game. Palmer hit a leadoff and walk-off homer to left field to end the game. The home run was the first of the season for her.
The game was a pitcher’s duel with the Spartans only having four hits, two coming off of Palmer’s bat. Bazonski (11-2) earned her second win on the day with a two-hit shutout and had four walks and six strikeouts.
UNCG will head down Interstate-85 to face in-state opponent Charlotte on Wednesday at 5 p.m.
-- UNCG –