UNCG vs. George Mason (PDF)
UNCG vs. Charleston Southern (PDF)
CHARLESTON, S.C. – The UNCG softball team swept Day One at the Charleston Southern Tournament after taking down George Mason, 2-1, and tournament host Charleston Southern, 5-4, at Buccaneer Field.
Freshman Lindsay Thomas (Irvine, Ca./Northwood) hit two home runs, including the game-winning solo home run to defeat Charleston Southern, 5-4, in game two.
UNCG improves to 2-0 for the first time since the 2004 season when the Spartans started 10-1.
In game one, UNCG received a complete game effort from redshirt junior Raeanne Hanks (Rainier, Ore./Rainier Senior), who went the distance for her first victory since May 1, 2011 against Samford and her second complete game ever. Hanks (1-0) returned to the circle after suffering an injury and started her first game since April 23, 2011 against Georgia Southern. Hanks tossed seven innings with seven strikeouts, coming just one shy of tying her career-high (8).
Head coach Janelle Breneman becomes just the third UNCG softball coach ever to win their season debut with the Spartans joining Katie Flynn (1998) and Stephanie DeFeo (2003). Breneman is the first coach in UNCG history to open up 2-0 in her debut.
In the top of the first, George Mason used three walks around two strikeouts to load the bases. Hanks would work out of the jam by striking out Casey Price to end the inning.
The Patriots would threaten again in the top of the fourth as Price singled to left and advanced to second on an error. Hanks would get Tori Rodriguez swinging and the next two batters on ground outs to end the inning.
The game would remain scoreless until the bottom of the fifth. With one out, Thomas blasted her first career hit and home run to left field to give UNCG a 1-0 lead. Senior Aubrey Baldwin (Tucson, Ariz./Catalina Foothills) followed with a single off the pitcher with one out. After a fly out, senior Heather Robb (Apex, N.C./Middle Creek) singled to center and Baldwin came home after an errant throw from the third baseman to give the Spartans a 2-0 advantage.
George Mason would answer in the top of the sixth after Chrsitina Gabriele reached on an error to open the inning. Price moved Gabriele to second on a sacrifice bunt. After a groundout, Angela Maioran singled up the middle to cut the lead to 2-1. The Patriots would load the bases again after a single and a walk. Sarah Solano came on to pinch hit but Hanks fielded an easy play to first to end the threat.
In the top of the seventh, Hanks induced two-straight groundouts to start the inning. Hanks gave up a two-out walk but ended the game with a groundout to Robb at shortstop.
With the victory, the Spartans improve to 12-2 all-time against George Mason.
In game two, UNCG rallied from a 4-1 deficit in the top of the seventh when junior Katelyn Bedwell (Surrey, British Columbia/Elgin Park Secondary) blasted a one-out three-run home run to tie the game at 4-4. Thomas would follow with the eventual game-winning bomb to deep center to give the Spartans a 5-4 lead.
Freshman pitcher Nicole Thomas (Irvine, Ca./Northwood) earned his first victory after pitching two scoreless innings of relief. Thomas worked a 1-2-3 bottom of the seventh to help UNCG secure the victory.
Charleston Southern took an early 3-0 lead in the bottom of the first after Jana Matthews hit a two-out three-run homer to left field.
The inning began with a leadoff walk followed by a strikeout from starting pitcher Kelly Lupton (Galloway, N.J./Absegami). Marci Christian singled to put runners on first and second with one-out. Stephanie Sbardella singled through the left side and Baldwin fired home to nail the runner at the plate. With two outs, Matthews lined the first pitch to left for her first home run of the season.
UNCG had an opportunity in the top of the second when Bedwell singled through the right side to open the frame. After a groundout, senior Eileen Horsmon (Dunkirk, Md./Northern) singled to put runners on first and third with one out. The Spartans couldn't push any runs across after Dominique Madruga (San Diego, Calif./Cathedral Catholic) lined out to second to end the inning.
The Spartans scored their first run of the game after a one-out pinch-hit double from junior Toni MacReynolds (Vienna, Va./James Madison). MacReynolds roped a double off the wall scoring Robb from second.
UNCG concludes the Charleston Southern tournament with a rematch against George Mason Sunday at 1 p.m. at Buccaneer Field.
Be sure to follow all updates about the UNCG softball season on www.uncgspartans.com or on twitter @UNCGsports/@UNCGsoftball.