Softball Sweeps Saturday Slate against Winthrop and Campbell
GREENSBORO, N.C. – It was far from easy but UNCG softball earned a pair of wins Saturday to close out the Spartan Classic, defeating Winthrop in a 4-3 pitchers duel before out slugging Campbell in a 15-11 thriller at the UNCG Softball Stadium.
Alicia Bazonski (Sheffield, Mass./Mount Everett) earned the win in the circle, tossing her seventh complete game. The junior gave up three runs (two earned) on four hits, registering three strikeouts. Bazonki set the Eagles down in order in four of her seven innings of work.
The Spartans jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first inning, with Alexis Overdiep (Apex, N.C./Apex) coming home on a wild pitch and Tory Wright (Potomac Falls, Va./Dominion) scoring Gabrielle Cubbage (Felton, Del./Lake Forest) with a sacrifice fly into foul territory.
The Eagles, however, came right back to take the lead in the second, scoring all three of their runs in the frame. UNCG didn’t let Winthrop keep the lead long posting two more runs in the bottom half to reclaim the advantage.
Rebecca Kale (Hudson, N.C./South Caldwell) plated the first run, spanking a double off the left field fence to bring Jasmine Palmer (Lake Biltmore, N.C./Florida State) around from second. Kale scored herself shortly thereafter, racing home on the throw down when Wright stole second.
That was all of the help that Bazonski would need as the righty flamethrower flummoxed the Eagles all-day long, moving to 8-6 on the year.
Kylie Bouplon (Wilson, N.C./Forsyth Country Day) made the start on the rubber in the late game against Campbell, going four and a third and allowing six runs on eight hits and four walks. Bazonski came on in relief to earn the “W” pitching two and two thirds in the circle, surrendering five runs on six hits.
The Fighting Camels took an early lead with a run in the first but it wouldn’t last long. UNCG struck for three in its half of the inning, making Amber Schisler’s night in the circle a short one. After Emily Acquaviva (New Hartford, N.Y./Stony Brook) and Wright drew back-to-back walks with the bases loaded, Hagan Kiser (Asheboro, N.C./Southwestern) knocked an infield single to short to score another run.
The Spartans added to their lead in the third, again tagging the Camels for three runs. Kayleigh Willis (Virginia Beach, Va./Frank W. Cox) entered as a pinch hitter and laced a single up the middle to bring Kiser home and Cubbage followed up with a bloop single to right center, plating Kale and Overdiep.
Acquaviva extended the lead further in the fourth, lining a double into center and bringing Palmer around from second. However, the Camels took two back the very next half inning on a Schisler two-run Bomb to left field, a two-RBI single by Megan Mozingo and a sacrifice fly by Abby Perryman.
The onslaught from the Camels continued in the sixth, when Campbell scored four runs to take a 10-7 lead over the Blue and Gold. The story, however, was far from over.
Emily Acquaviva got the rally in the bottom of the sixth started with a sharp single to center field, scoring Palmer. Wright followed with a double to center, bringing Acquaviva around from second. With the Spartans within a single run, the Camels decided to bring Schisler back to the circle in place of Katie Baker. After Baker plunked Kiser and tossed a wild pitch, UNCG made a move of its own, pinch hitting Stephanie Boyd (Greensboro, N.C./West Guilford) for Overdiep, setting the stage for a huge plate appearance.
Ahead in the count 2-0, the freshman picked a good time to come up with her second-career hit, smacking a single up the middle to bring home the tying and go ahead runs.
“Boyd has been looking good and working really hard,” said head coach Janelle Breneman. “Sometimes we can’t use her as much as we would like because she’s our backup catcher but she had a humungous at-bat today. It was a pressure situation with two outs and two people on and for a rookie to come in and deliver that big hit was really nice to see. I think that was when we really gained the momentum and it put us in a good position to have that huge sixth inning.”
The fun didn’t stop there, Cubbage plastered a double to center field during the next at-bat and the throw from center went wayward into the Spartan dugout, bringing pinch runner Sidney Grkman (X/X) across. Cubbage scored moments later on a wild pitch and Jordan Gontram (Wake Forest, N.C./Heritage) destroyed a Schisler offering, sending the ball cascading over the statue in center. A Wright bases-loaded walk brought an end to the scoring and in the end the Blue and Gold posted an eight spot in the sixth inning.
Campbell plated a run in the seventh but by then it was too-little-too-late as UNCG came out on top of the back-and forth affair.
“I’ve got to give Campbell credit,” stated Breneman. “They swung the bats really well and got some big hits but we never looked back. We lost the momentum one or two times but then the next time that we could we got it back with big hits or lead off runners getting on and then moving them. We had some really big RBI situations and base hits with runners in scoring position.”