UNCG defeats No. 2 College of Charleston but falls to Georgia Southern
GREENSBORO, NC – UNC Greensboro continued its magical run as the No. 8 seed as it knocked No. 2 College of Charleston out of the Southern Conference Softball Championships with a 10-0 victory in five innings, Friday at the UNCG Softball Stadium but couldn't continue its run, bowing out of the tournament with a 3-2 loss to No. 4 Georgia Southern in the late game.
The Spartans (29-37) defeated No. 1 Chattanooga earlier in the tournament. The Cougars end their tournament run at 34-25.
Brandi Schnute led the UNCG offense as she went 3-for-3 at the plate with three RBI and two runs scored. Mary Greenway and Lyndsey Wilson added two RBI apiece. Jennifer Bonilla tied the UNCG career hits record with two hits on the day. The senior now has 227 career hits. Kolby Schooley had the lone hit for CofC as she went 1-for-1 at the plate.
Vanessa Oakes pitched five innings of one-hit softball giving up just one walk while striking out one for her 14th win of the season for UNCG. Terri Mesko took the loss for CofC after giving up six runs, four earned, on six hits in three innings. She struck out three. Shannon Howard came in for an inning of relief as she gave up four runs on three hits.
After a scoreless inning and a half, the Spartans put two runners on with two outs, bringing Greenway to the plate. Greenway tripled to center field to drive in the runs and give UNCG a 2-0 lead heading into the third.
Schooley put the first hit into play for the Cougars with two outs in the top of the third, but CofC couldn’t take advantage as it trailed 2-0 heading into the bottom of the inning.
Bonilla grounded out to open the bottom of the third inning. The Spartans took advantage of the Cougars’ miscues to put two runners on the bases. With two on Kara Clouser singled to score a run and keep the bases loaded. The next batter, Schnute doubled to bring in another run and advance the runners to second and third. After Mesko’s third strikeout of the game, Brittany Ausley singled to score Clouser and give UNCG a 5-0 lead entering the fourth inning.
After holding CofC in the top of the fourth, UNCG quickly loaded the bases brining in Howard to pitch. With the bases loaded and no outs, Howard struck out Lyndsay Mouse and got Clouser to hit into a fielder’s choice, getting the out at home plate for two outs against the Spartans.
With two outs and the bases still loaded, Schnute hit her second double of the game to score two runners and give UNCG a 7-0 lead with runners on second and third. Lyndsey Wilson doubled to score two more for UNC Greensboro for a 9-0 lead. The next batter, Ausley reached first on an error by the CofC infield to score another run. Howard got the final batter to strikeout, but the Spartans entered the fifth inning with a 10-0 lead.
The Cougars went down in order in the bottom of the fifth as the Spartans went away with a 10-0, five inning win.
In the late game, seventh-inning heroics by Robyne Siliga lifted No. 4 Georgia Southern over No. 8 UNC Greensboro, 3-2, in the second elimination game of the afternoon.
The Eagles (27-31) move on to face Western Carolina in the elimination bracket Saturday at 11 a.m. The winner of that game will face Furman in the championship. The Spartans’ magical tournament run ends at 29-37.
Siliga led GSU as she went 3-for-4 with two RBI from the plate. Jenny Side added an RBI while Heather Smith compiled two hits. Adriane Audley and Brandi Schunte each had an RBI for UNCG.
Logan Free (10-13) picked up the win for the Eagles having allowed no runs on two hits in 6.1 innings of relief. Vanessa Oakes (14-13) suffered the loss having giving up three runs on nine hits in 6.2 innings. Oakes struck out six batters.
Mary Greenway started the top of the first off with a walk for the Spartans and advanced to second on an error by the catcher. Still with no one out, Adriane Audley doubled to score Greenway for an early 1-0 lead. After a pop-out, Leslie Furness walked to put two on for UNCG.
The next batter flew out, but a wild pitch advanced the two runners with two outs and Kara Clouser at the plate. Clouser walked to load the bases for Brandi Schnute who continued her tournament clutch hitting with a single to left field to score the runner from third for a 2-0 UNCG lead.
With two outs in the top of the first, Free came in to replace Melissa Laliberte on the in the circle. Free got the final out as the Eagles headed to their first at bat trailing 2-0.
With two outs and a runner on second, Side singled through center field to score Heather Smith and cut the lead to 2-1. Oakes struck out Siliga to end the inning as UNCG entered the second with a 2-1 lead.
Both teams went hitless in the second and third innings as UNCG led 2-1 heading into the fourth.
After holding the Spartans scoreless in the top of the fourth inning, Siliga tied the game for the Eagles with a homerun deep to left center field, her sixth of the season. The next three batters went down in order as the two teams entered the fifth tied at two.
GSU held UNCG scoreless in the top of the fifth. With two outs and Lindsey Hopkins on base, Heather Smith doubled to advance the runner to third. Oakes got Jenny Side to fly out to center to end the threat and the inning still tied at two runs apiece.
Both teams went scoreless in the sixth place as they headed to the seventh inning still knotted at two.
GSU’s Free retired the side in the top of the seventh, bringing up her team with a chance to win the game in the bottom of the inning.
Elizabeth Branan singled to start the inning for the Eagles. Lindsey Hopkins laid down a bunt in the next at bat and the UNCG first baseman couldn’t handle the throw as both runners were safe at first and second with no outs. The next batter, Maria Laurato loaded the bases with a single to center with no outs, bringing Heather Smith to the plate. Smith flew out to the shortstop for one out.
Oakes struck out the next batter, Jenny Side, bringing Siliga to the plate with the bases loaded and two outs. With a 1-2 count, Siliga blasted a single to right center field to bring in the runner at third giving GSU a 3-2 victory.
COFC................ 000 00 - 0 1 2
UNCG................ 023 5X - 10 9 0
E - A. Shifflett; K. Shifflett. LOB - COFC 2; UNCG 6. 2B -
Schnute 2; Wilson. 3B - Greenway.
Win - Oakes (14-12). Loss - Mesko (18-13). Save - None. PB - Mascarenaz 2. Pitches/strikes: Mesko 81/47; Howard 37/23; Oakes 52/32. Umpires - HP: Tim Inman 1B: Frank Holcomb 3B: Ed Clark Start: 12:25 pm Time: 1:35 Attendance: 147
UNCG................ 200 000 0 - 2 4 2
Georgia Southern.... 100 100 1 - 3 9 1
Note: 2 outs, 3 runners LOB when the game ended.
E - Mouse; Clouser; Side. LOB - UNCG 5; Eagles 9. 2B - Audley;
H. Smith 2. HR - Siliga. SH - Hopkins. SB - Greenway; Mouse.
Win - Free (10-13). Loss - Oakes (14-13). Save - None. WP - Laliberte. Pitches/strikes: Oakes 99/75; Laliberte 35/21; Free 84/48. Umpires - HP: Frank Holcomb 1B: Ed Clark 3B: Tim Inman Start: 5 pm Time: 2:11 Attendance: 200
Game Nine: Elon Eliminated from SoCon Tournament by Georgia Southern
GREENSBORO, N.C. – Georgia Southern moved on in the elimination bracket as it defeated Elon, 4-1, Friday at the Southern Conference Softball Championships at the UNCG Softball Stadium.
The No. 4 Lady Eagles (26-31) move on in the elimination bracket to face the winner of No. 2 College of Charleston versus No. 8 UNC Greensboro at 5 p.m. on Friday. The No. 6 Phoenix’s season ends at (28-32).
Heather Smith and Maria Laurato provided an RBI apiece for GSU, while Laurato finished the day 2-for-2 at the plate with a run scored. Jenny Side and Lindsey Hopkins each added two hits. Elon’s offense was paced by Brandi Jones who went 2-for-2 at the plate with the team’s lone RBI.
Melissa Laliberte picked up the win for GSU as she relieved Logan Free and gave up no runs on one hit in 3.2 innings. Free gave up one run on three hits and struck out four in 3.1 innings. Melanie Helterbran took the loss for Elon after giving up four runs on eight hits in seven innings of work.
Each team opened their respective half of the first inning with a single. However, both defenses quickly buckled down as neither team put a run on the board in the first two and a half innings.
Three walks in the bottom of the third inning loaded the bases with Elon’s Laurin Smith at the plate. Free recorded her third strikeout of the game to put two outs on the board with the bases loaded, bringing Melanie Helterbran to the plate. With a full count, Helterbran flied out to deep right field as the Eagles escaped the inning and headed into the fourth with a scoreless tie.
With two outs in the top of the fourth, Side recorded her second hit of the game, a single to third base, to advance the runner at first to second. A wild pitch advanced the runners to second and third. Siliga came to the plate next and hit a routine fly ball to shallow left field. The left fielder couldn’t handle the ball as it bounced off her glove and two runners scored for the Lady Eagles. Samantha Russo singled to left field in the next GSU at bat to put runners on first and third with two outs. The next batter popped out to the catcher in foul territory to end the top of the fourth with GSU leading 2-0.
With runners on first and second and one out in the bottom of the fourth, Jones singled to left and advanced to second on the throw to score the runner from second and advance Crewe from first to third as Elon cut the GSU lead to 2-1 with one out in the fourth. With Laliberte on the mound for Free, Goss came to the plate. Laliberte struck out Goss, then walked Dahlen to load the bases with two outs for the Phoenix. Zeigler popped out to the third baseman to end the inning with Elon trailing 2-1.
With one out, an Elon error put a runner on first for the Eagles. A tricky bunt-single by Lindsey Hopkins gave GSU runners on first and second with one out. Laurato singled to left field and Branan slide under the tag by Zeigler for a 3-1 GSU lead with just one out. A sacrifice fly by Heather Smith scored the runner from third for a 4-1 lead for the Eagles. Side grounded out to end the inning as her team entered the bottom of the fifth with a 4-1 lead.
The Phoenix went down in order in the bottom of the fifth as the Eagles held a 4-1 lead heading into the sixth inning.
Despite minor threats, neither team put up runs in the sixth inning as they entered the seventh with GSU leading 4-1. Despite a threat in the top of the seventh, the Eagles couldn’t add any more runs as Elon came up for its final chance trailing 4-1.
Zeigler led off the inning with a single to center field. Laurin Smith flew out to right field for the first out of the inning with Zeigler still on first. Helterbran followed with a pop out to right field bringing up Patti Weber with two outs. Weber also popped out to right field to end the game and give the Eagles a 4-1 victory.
- UNCG -