GSW splits DH with Georgia College

AMERICUS - After struggling at the plate in a 5-1 loss to Georgia College in Game 1 of Tuesday's Peach Belt Conference softball doubleheader at Lady 'Canes Field, Georgia Southwestern jumped to a 6-0 lead in the first inning of Game 2 and held on for a 9-7 victory.

It was only the second win over Georgia College in the last 10 meetings for the Lady Hurricanes. GSW improves to 13-19 overall, 3-7 PBC. Georgia College dips to 8-25, 3-3 PBC.

The teams combined to score all six runs in the first two innings of the opener. Georgia College put three runs on the board in the first, highlighted by a two-run double from Hayley Burnett.

GSW plated its lone run in the bottom of the frame when Nichole Griffin's single got past the left fielder, allowing Mason Moreland to score from first.

The Bobcats added two more runs in the second, behind a two-run double from Anna Parker.

Christie Shankle (1-8) struggled and took the loss after 1 2/3 innings of action. She surrendered seven hits and two walks, accounting for all five GC runs. Katie Maddox threw 5 1/3 innings of scoreless relief, walking four and striking out four.

Sabrina Chandler (5-10) allowed the one unearned run, scattering three hits while walking two and striking out three.

The Lady Hurricanes did not have a batter with multiple hits. 

In the nightcap, GSW scored six runs in the first, two in the fourth and another in the fifth while withstanding a GC comeback bid to win 9-7. 

Griffin doubled in a run and Gabby Buck, Hayley Knight, Erin Vick and Jessica Chewning collected RBIs to lead Southwestern in its six-run first inning.

Georgia College scored a pair in the third, but GSW answered with two in the fourth coming from a Robyn Butler RBI-double and a Knight RBI-single.

GC made things interesting in the fifth behind four runs on one hit. With two runs already in, the bases loaded and one out, Shahlisa Shirley hit a ground ball back to GSW pitcher Jessica Martin, who threw home for the force out. An errant throw to first in the double-play attempt allowed two more runners crossed home, making the score 8-6. 

GSW added another insurance run in the bottom half of the fifth when Buck doubled-home Griffin from third.

GC scored its final run in the sixth to pull within two, but was held in check by GSW starting pitcher Jessica Martin the rest of the way. Martin (6-5) worked out of jams in the sixth and seventh innings to earn her team-high sixth win of the spring. She was charged with seven runs in the complete-game effort, although only four were earned. Martin walked seven and struck out one.

Chelsie Huffman (1-4) did not make it out of the first inning for GC. Huffman allowed six runs in 1/3 inning, facing eight batters. She walked four and surrendered three hits. Caitlin Duvall pitched the final 5 2/3 innings, giving up three runs on nine hits.

Knight finished 3-for-4 with two RBIs and a run scored to lead GSW in Game 2. Griffin went 2-for-3 with two walks, a double and a triple. Cayla Smith was 2-for-2 with a walk.

The Lady 'Canes return to the diamond on Thursday to host Thomas (Ga.) in a non-conference doubleheader beginning at 5 p.m.  

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