GREENSBORO, N.C. – UNCG softball (30-8, 7-1) split a doubleheader against the Mercer Bears (26-12, 7-1) on Sunday at UNCG Softball Stadium, winning the first game 7-0 and falling 3-0 in the following game. The Spartans’ winning streak ended at 15 games, matching the feat done by the 1995 team for the second-longest victory streak in program history.
After four innings with just one hit, the Spartans’ bat awoke in the fifth to grab the lead. With one out Gabi Cubbage (Felton, Del./Lake Forest) drew a walk and went to third after Rachael McClaskey (Pine Hill, N.J./Overbrook) reached base on a fielding error by the first baseman. Cubbage then scored on a squeeze bunt by Becca Kale (Hudson, N.C./South Caldwell). Pinch-hitter Kayleigh Willis (Virginia Beach, Va./Frank W. Cox) then smacked the first pitch she saw off the pitcher’s glove into centerfield that knocked in McClaskey. With the bases loaded Jasmine Palmer (Cander, N.C./ Florida State) singled up the middle to bring home Alexis Overdiep (Apex, N.C./Apex) and Kale.
UNCG then added three insurance runs in the next inning. Leadoff hitter Jordan Gontram (Wake Forest, N.C./Heritage) walked, and McClaskey doubled off the centerfield fence with one out. After Overdiep loaded the bases with a walk, Makenna Matthijs (Greenville, N.C./D.H. Conley) scored both runners with a two-out double down the right field line. Palmer produced the final run with a RBI-single up the middle.
Alicia Bazonski (Sheffield, Mass./Mount Everett) (13-3) threw her eighth complete game of the season, allowing just three walks with three strikeouts in the three-hit shutout.
Palmer was the only Spartan to record two hits and went 2-3 with three RBIs.
Bazonski started the second game, and Mercer took the lead right away in the first inning with a two-run homer to left field. The Bears added an insurance run in the sixth inning on a RBI-single to left field following a throwing error.
The Spartans left eight runners on base, twice with runners on first and second base in the second and sixth innings. UNCG’s best opportunity to score came in the fifth inning after Kale lead off with a single to third base and Overdiep walked. Both runners advanced on a sacrifice bunt by Matthijs, but a groundout and strikeout ended the threat.
Stephanie Bryden (Orlando, Fla./East River) threw six scoreless innings of relief, giving up one unearned run, three hits and two walks with eight strikeouts.
UNCG will remain at home for its next game, a doubleheader on Tuesday against Presbyterian starting at 4 p.m.
-- UNCG –