Softball Drops a Pair Friday to Open Spartan Classic
GREENSBORO, N.C. – A couple of tough first innings Friday proved to be the difference for UNCG at the Spartan Classic as the Blue and Gold fell in games to Delaware (7-8) and Campbell (2-4) at the UNCG Softball Stadium.
Alicia Bazonski (Sheffield, Mass./Mount Everett) took the loss in the early game against Delaware, allowing seven runs on seven hits and a pair of free passes, striking out six over 4.1 innings. Kylie Bouplon (Wilson, N.C./Forsyth Country Day) came on in relief to toss 2.2 innings, surrendering one run off of two hits.
Things got off to a rocky start for UNCG. After Bazonski struck out the first two batters of the game, the Fightin’ Blue Hens strung together a walk and four hits, including a double and a triple, to open up a 4-0 lead early.
Delaware regained the four run advantage with a run in the top of the first on a pair of singles, but UNCG matched a run in the bottom half of the inning with a Tory Wright (Potomac Falls, Va./Dominion) single up the gut that scored Jasmine Palmer (Lake Biltmore, N.C./Florida State) from second.
UNCG pulled within one with a run in both the third and fourth innings. Just like the first two innings, a run came across in the bottom of the third on a single up the middle, this time off of the bat of Hagan Kiser (Asheboro, N.C./Southwestern), sending Emily Acquaviva (New Hartford, N.Y./Stony Brook) to the plate.
The run in the fourth for the Blue and Gold came in much louder fashion than a single up the middle. Facing a 3-1 count, Tory Wright took a big hack at a Jordan Cargile offering and plowed a line drive over the fence in right-center for a solo home run, bringing the score to 4-5.
Just when it seemed that the Spartans had all of the momentum, the Hens posted three runs in the top of the fifth to extend their lead to 8-4.
The Spartans, though, went back to work in the sixth to shrink the deficit. Wright led off with a single and a few batters later Rachael McClaskey (Pine Hill, N.J./Overbrook) pummeled an absolute moon-shot blast to right field. Cubbage followed with a single and Acquaviva stung a double off of the right field fence, scoring the third run of the frame.
Facing its final three outs, UNCG quickly produced a ground out and a strike out. However, the Spartans would not go away quietly. UNCG drew three straight walks to load the bases for Acquaviva. Unfortunately for the Spartans, the comeback fell just short as Taylor Curran got the call on the outside corner to strike the former Stony Brook Seawolf out looking.
Bouplon made the start in the night game against Campbell, going the distance and throwing 145 pitches in the game, 86 for strikes. The freshman took the loss, allowing four runs (one earned) on 10 hits, striking out a career-high seven batters.
Just like the first game, the top of the first was not kind to the Spartans. Campbell’s first four batters reached and in the end the Spartans found themselves behind 3-0 following the first half inning.
The Camels added to their lead in the second, scoring an unearned run off of Bouplon. UNCG came back in the bottom half with a run of its own as Acquaviva led off by reaching on a fielding error at third and eventually came home on a Wright sacrifice fly to deep right field.
UNCG pulled a run closer in the fourth without recording a meaningful hit. Cubbage and Gontram both got on via fielding errors to lead off the inning putting runners at second and third for Acquaviva, who scored Cubbage with a ground out to third base. Gontram, however, was thrown out trying to advance to third.
That was all the Spartans were able to muster against the Fighting Camels as Katie Baker shut out UNCG the rest of the way to close out the victory for Campbell.
The Spartan Classic returns with a four-game slate Saturday, beginning with Delaware vs. Winthrop at 9:30 a.m. UNCG will play a pair, taking on Winthrop at 2:30 p.m. before hosting a rematch with the Fighting Camels at 5:00 p.m.