Nicole Thomas Powers Softball to Split against Gardner-Webb
GREENSBORO, N.C. – Sophomore Nicole Thomas (Irvine, Calif./Northwood) broke a school record with eight RBI helping UNCG softball split a doubleheader against Gardner-Webb Tuesday night at the UNCG Softball Stadium.
The Spartans sit at 10-9 on the season after dropping game one 3-2 and winning 15-5 in game two against Gardner-Webb. The Runnin’ Bulldogs are 8-17 on the season with the split.
Nicole Thomas hit three home runs in the second game to tie the school record for most home runs in a game and broke the RBI record with eight. Former Spartan Kelly Councilman has seven RBI against St. Andrews back in 1988. Only two former players have hit three home runs in a game in Karyn Thompson in 1995 and Kelly Allen in 2005.
Gardner-Webb 3, UNCG 2 (8)
In game one, the Spartans fell 3-2 to Gardner-Webb in eight innings.
With the game tied at 2-2, the Runnin’ Bulldogs scored a run in the eighth inning after Savannah Burns singled to centerfield scoring the eventual game winning run from third.
In the seventh, freshman Tory Wright (Potomac Falls, Va./Dominion) roped a one out double but UNCG couldn’t push any runs across to tie the game.
Jessica Childers improved to 5-8 after throwing a complete game, allowing just two earned runs with four strikeouts. Senior Raeanne Hanks (Rainier, Ore./Rainier Senior) takes the tough loss after throwing a complete game, allowing nine hits on just one earned run with six strikeouts.
Gardner-Webb took a 2-0 lead in the second inning off a two out error leading to two runs coming home for the Bulldogs. Gardner-Webb loaded the bases with two outs after Jill Blank picked up an infield single. Samantha Meenaghan reached on a fielding error allowing two runs to come home.
UNCG tied the game in the bottom of the second after a clutch two out two run single from freshman Hagan Kiser (Asheboro, N.C./Southwestern). Wright worked a one out walk to start the rally. Sophomore Danielle Vega (Rialto, Calif./Aquinas) singled to left field to put runners on first and second. After an out, Kiser delivered a single up the middle to tie the game at 2-2.
UNCG 15, Gardner-Webb 5 (5)
In game two, the Spartans pounded 15 hits and scored 15 runs to run rule the Runnin’ Bulldogs, 15-5, to split the doubleheader in five innings.
Nicole Thomas finished the game 3-for-4 with three home runs and eight RBI. She also picked up the victory in relief throwing 2.2 innings, allowing just four hits for her second win of the season. Gardner-Webb’s Ashley Rhyne fell to 2-9 on the season after allowing three earned runs on four hits.
Four Spartans had three hits in sophomore Allison Geiner (Raleigh, N.C./Middle Creek), senior Katelyn Bedwell (Surrey, B.C./Elgin Park), Lindsay Thomas (Irvine, Calif./Northwood), Nicole Thomas and Tory Wright.
Gardner-Webb took a 1-0 lead in the first inning after Megan Gibbons launched a home run to left center.
The Spartans jumped out to a 4-1 lead after scoring four runs on four hits with two errors by Gardner-Webb. Geiner doubled down the left field line to start the inning. Junior Tatiana Alcala (Oxnard, Calif./Pacifica) laid down a sacrifice bunt to move Geiner to third. Bedwell lined an RBI single. Sophomore Lindsay Thomas (Irvine, Calif./Northwood) singled and Wright followed with a RBI double to right field. Two more runs came home for UNCG off two Gardner-Webb errors in the infield.
The Runnin’ Bulldogs wouldn’t go away tying the game at 4-4 with a three-run second inning on two hits. Gardner-Webb loaded the bases after two walks and a single. Meenaghan worked a walk to cut the lead 4-2 with one out. Kellie Beres tied the game with a two-run single to left center.
The Spartans answered with two runs after Lindsay Thomas roped a two out two-run double to give UNCG a 6-4 lead. Alcala and Bedwell worked back-to-back walks to setup Thomas’ clutch hit.
Gardner-Webb added a run in the third inning after loading the bases again when Taylar Pridgen lined a RBI single up the middle to cut the lead to 6-5. Sophomore Nicole Thomas (Irvine, Calif./Northwood) limited the damage in relief getting the final two outs of the inning to keep UNCG in the lead.
In the third inning, Nicole Thomas smoked a two-run blast off the scoreboard to push UNCG’s lead to 8-5.
The Spartans scored three runs in the fourth inning after a RBI single from Wright and a two-run blast to deep centerfield from Nicole Thomas.
UNCG ended the game with a four-run fifth inning capped off with a three-run home run from Nicole Thomas to left field to seal the victory for the Spartans. Bedwell scored the first run with a RBI double to centerfield.
Be sure to follow all updates about the UNCG softball team on www.uncgspartans.com or on twitter @UNCGsports/@UNCGsoftball.