Softball Sweeps SoCon Opener Against Samford
GREENSBORO, N.C. – Behind timely hitting and strong pitching, the UNCG softball team swept its SoCon opener against Samford, 4-1 in game one and a run-rule 9-1 win in game two Saturday afternoon at the UNCG Softball Stadium.
UNCG has won seven-straight games to improve to 17-2, 2-0 in the Southern Conference. Samford falls to 7-10, 0-2 in the SoCon.
Redshirt junior Raeanne Hanks (Rainier, Ore./Rainier Senior) picked up two victories in the doubleheader, including a shutout in game one. Freshman Lindsay Thomas (Irvine, Calif./Northwood) went 4-for-5 with a double, two home runs, three runs scored and two RBI.
UNCG 4, Samford 0
In game one, UNCG shutout Samford, 4-0 after Thomas finished 2-for-2 with a two solo home runs and two RBI. Hanks threw a one-hit shutout to improve to 8-1 on the season. Hanks only allowed one walk with six strikeouts in the victory.
With two outs in the bottom of the first, Thomas delivered a solo home run to left field to give UNCG an early 1-0 lead.
Samford had an opportunity to tie the game in the top of the sixth. Abby Adams worked a walk to start the inning and moved to second after a sacrifice bunt. Caroline Wilder reached on an error which put runners on first and third with just one out. Hanks ended the threat with a groundout and a fly out.
The Spartans added three insurance runs in the bottom of the sixth. Thomas started the frame with a shot off the Spartan statue in center to make it 2-0 UNCG. Junior Katelyn Bedwell (Surrey, B.C./Elgin Park) singled to right center and senior Eileen Horsmon (Dunkirk, Md./Northern) reached on an error with no outs. After another error loaded the bases, pinch-hitter Toni MacReynolds (Vienna, Va./James Madison) lined into a double play. Freshman Nicole Thomas (Irvine, Calif./Northwood) came through with a clutch double down the left field line to plate two runs and give UNCG a 4-0 advantage.
In the top of the seventh, Hanks worked an easy 1-2-3 inning with a strikeout swinging to end the game.
UNCG 9, Samford 1 (six innings)
In game two, UNCG pounded out 11 hits and nine runs to run-rule Samford, 9-1, in six innings.
In the bottom of the first, Bedwell blasted a three-run home run to give UNCG a 3-0 lead. Junior Aisha Figueroa (Virginia Beach, Va./Ocean Lakes) singled through the left side to start the inning. Thomas worked a one out walk to setup Bedwell's fourth home run of the season.
The Bulldogs answered with a solo home run from Abby Adams in the top of the second to cut the lead to 3-1.
The Spartans added to their lead with a two-run bottom of the fourth. Senior Heather Robb (Apex, N.C./Middle Creek) was hit by a pitch, followed by a walk from Nicole Thomas. Sophomore Tatiana Alcala (Oxnard, Calif./Pacifica) sacrificed both runners to second and third with one out. MacReynolds lined a double to left center to plate two runs and extend UNCG's lead to 5-1.
UNCG ended the game with a four-run bottom of the sixth on five hits. The Bulldogs also helped the cause with two errors in the inning. Hormon provided the knockout blow with a single up the middle to score the ninth run.
Alcala finished with two hits along with Figueroa and Thomas. Hanks picked up her ninth win of the season and Nicole Thomas earned her first save in relief.
UNCG concludes the series against Samford with a single game Sunday at 1 p.m. at the UNCG Softball Stadium.
Be sure to follow all updates about the UNCG softball season on www.uncgspartans.com or on twitter @UNCGsports/@UNCGsoftball.