WILMINGTON, N.C. – The UNCG softball team scored 11 runs on 13 hits to take care of Norfolk State 11-3 in five innings Sunday afternoon at Boseman Field.
The Spartans improve to 2-3 on the season while Norfolk State falls to 2-4.
Sophomore Nicole Thomas (Irvine, Calif./Northwood) finished the game 3-for-3 with a three-run home run and career-high six RBI. Senior Katelyn Bedwell (Surrey, B.C./Elgin Park) went 1-for-3 with an RBI. Junior Tatiana Alcala (Oxnard, Calif./Pacifica) had an RBI triple.
Senior Raeanne Hanks (Rainier, Ore./Rainier Senior) earned the victory after throwing three innings, allowing one hit and two earned runs with two strikeouts. Liz Riley suffered the loss after lasting just seven batters, allowing four hits and five earned runs.
UNCG took control with a five-run first inning on four hits, including a two-run triple from Alcala. Junior Dominique Madruga (San Diego, Calif./Cathedral Catholic) also had an RBI double. The Spartans started the inning with a single from sophomore Allison Geiner (Raleigh, N.C./Middle Creek). Classmate Lindsay Thomas (Irvine, Calif./Northwood) worked a walk to setup runners at first and second. Bedwell moved the runners to second and third with a sacrifice bunt. Nicole Thomas singled to center to give UNCG a 1-0 lead. Freshman Tory Wright (Potomac Falls, Va./Dominion) walked to load the bases. Sophomore Danielle Vega (Rialto, Calif./Aquinas) grounded into a fielder's choice for an RBI. Alcala tripled to score two runs and Madruga doubled home another to make it 5-0.
Norfolk State cut the lead to 5-2 after scoring two runs in the bottom of the first off one hit. Two walks started the inning for the other Spartans. After a wild pitch, Whitney Williams earned an RBI groundout to make it 5-1. Kathy Cortez doubled to right field to make it 5-2 after one inning.
The Blue and Gold would explode for four more runs in the fourth inning thanks to a three-run home run to left center from Nicole Thomas to give UNCG a 9-2 advantage. The inning started with an infield single from freshman Emily Lopez (Charlotte, N.C./Olympic). Geiner picked up her second hit with a bunt single to put runners on first and second. After an out, Bedwell singled home her second RBI of the game to centerfield. With one out, Nicole Thomas launched her first home run of the season to break open the game for the Spartans.
In the fifth inning, UNCG added two more runs after a two out rally gave them an 11-2 lead. With two outs, Lindsay Thomas singled to left field. After an error, sister Nicole Thomas double to left center plating two runs.
Nicole Thomas finished the game in the circle throwing the final two innings in relief. Norfolk State added a run in the bottom of the fifth on an RBI double from Williams but were down by eight runs after five giving UNCG a run-rule victory.
The Spartans will return home to host ACC foe Virginia Tech in a doubleheader Tuesday, Feb. 18 starting at 2:30 p.m. at the UNCG Softball Stadium.
Be sure to follow all updates about the UNCG softball team on www.uncgspartans.com or on twitter @UNCGsports/@UNCGsoftball.