Comeback Complete: Late Game Heroics Send Softball Past Akron 8-6
KENNESAW, Ga.- UNCG plated four runs in the seventh inning to storm back against Akron, defeating the Zips 8-6 Saturday morning at the Bailey Memorial Tournament at Bailey Park.
“We have known that we are capable of big four or five run innings,” said head coach Janelle Breneman. “We finally got it done today stringing some together.”
Alicia Bazonski (Sheffield, Mass./Mount Everett) made the start in the circle, going three innings and allowing four runs (one earned) on six hits and four free passes. Kylie Bouplon (Wilson, N.C./Forsyth Country Day) earned the win, allowing two earned runs on three hits.
“Kylie did a really nice job,” stated Breneman. “We we’re not getting any sort of low strikes. For Baz to not get that low strike we thought we needed to make a change and Kylie did a really nice job of coming in and attacking. She kept us hanging in there.”
The Zips jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the second, tagging Bazonski for three unearned runs following a Marisa Sholtes (Albany, N.Y./South Colonie Central) error at first base.
UNCG pulled a run closer in the top of the fourth. After Jordan Gontram (Wake Forest, N.C./Heritage) smoked a one-out double to center, pinch runner Danielle Bieberle (Winter Haven, Fla./Auburndale) advanced to third on a Sholtes groundout. One batter later, Emily Acquaviva (New Hartford, N.Y./Stony Brook) delivered a single up the middle to bring the freshman home.
Akron, however, got the run right back in the bottom half of the frame, bringing Cassie Gillespie home on a Anna Tarpley sacrifice fly.
The Spartans once again cut the deficit by one in the fifth. Emily Lopez (Charlotte, N.C./Olympic) got things started with a lead off bunt single and was quickly advanced to second by a Alexis Overdiep (Apex, N.C./Apex) sacrifice bunt. Lopez came around to score shortly thereafter when McClaskey lined a single off of the first baseman’s glove.
Just like in the fourth, the Zips immediately got the run back in the bottom half as Savannah Fruin got into a Bouplon offering a plowed a homer to left-center.
Despite only registering a single hit in the frame, UNCG scored two to pull within a run in the sixth. Acquaviva got things started with a single through the left side and Rebecca Kale (Hudson, N.C./South Caldwell) followed two batters later with a walk. Kayleigh Willis (Virginia Beach, Va./Frank W. Cox) came in to pinch hit and reached on a fielding error at second base, allowing Acquaviva to score. A few pitches later the second run came across on a wild pitch in the form of Kale.
After the Zips plated a run in the bottom of the sixth, the Spartans got to work on the comeback. Gontram led off by plowing a line shot over the wall in left field to pull the Blue and Gold within one. Acquaviva drew a one-out walk and Gabriele Cubbage (Felton, Del./Lake Forest) followed with a single to left. It looked like Acquaviva was hung up between second and third but the throw hit her square in the back and both runners advanced safely.
That’s when Kale stepped to the plate. The South Caldwell High School product hammered a double off of the fence in straight-away center, bringing home both runners and giving UNCG its first lead of the game. Overdiep capped the inning with an RBI bloop single over the outstretched glove of the shortstop, bringing Kale home from third.
“Becca has been having good at bats, she just hasn’t been getting the results,” continued Breneman. “She keeps working and keeps staying focused on one pitch at a time. She squared one up and just missed a single the last time up. I just felt like she was going to break through and what a time to do it. She put us on her shoulders and just drilled that.”
Bouplon came out for the bottom half of the inning and closed things out, moving the Spartans to 10-7 on the year and 3-0 at the tournament.
The Spartans return for the final day of the Bailey Memorial Tournament on Sunday, taking on UAB in a rematch of Friday’s game at 1:30 p.m.