MILLEDGEVILLE - A five-run seventh inning in Game 1 and a four-run first inning in Game 2 was enough to propel Catawba College to a softball doubleheader sweep of Georgia Southwestern in the season opener for both schools Saturday evening.
Catawba outhit the Lady Hurricanes 16-9 en route to victories of 7-4 and 8-0. The teams combined for 10 errors.
GAME 1: Catawba 7, GSW 4
Southwestern jumped out to the early lead in Game 1 with a two-run third inning highlighted by a leadoff home run from freshman Rachel McElroy, a double from freshman Ashley Cavender and an RBI single by senior Gabby Buck.
After Catawba answered with run in the top of the fourth, GSW pushed two more across the plate aided by a pair of Catawba errors.
The Lady Indians added a run in the fifth behind a Tara Gibbs RBI triple.
GSW maintained the two-run advantage until the seventh.
Catawba opened the frame with a walk. After a sacrifice bunt and a single, Mollie Kovalcin cut the margin to 4-3 on an RBI single. A GSW fielding error loaded the bases and a pinch-hit single by Kelsey Burgess tied the game.
Amanda Terry had the winning hit for Catawba, clearing the bases with a three-run double with two outs.
Brittany Murray went the distance for the Lady Indians and finished with four runs - two earned - on seven hits. She struck out five.
GAME 2: Catawba 8, GSW 0
The Lady Indians scored four runs off a hit and two GSW errors in the first inning of the nightcap, which would be plenty of cushion for starting pitcher Emily B. Huneycutt.
Catawba added a run in the third, two in the fourth and a final score in the sixth en route to the sweep.
GSW managed only two hits off Huneycutt. However, a single by sophomore Hayley Knight in the sixth inning did come after senior Jessica Chewning had walked to open the frame. Buck, the next batter, walked to load the bases with one out, but the Lady Hurricanes were unable to score.
Junior Brittny Dennison took the loss for GSW after pitching 3 1/3 innings and allowing six runs - one earned. Dennison held Catawba to two hits, but surrendered five walks. Sophomore Erin Vick pitched 2 1/3 scoreless innings of relief. She struck out two and did not walk a batter.
Huneycutt walked two and struck out one for Catawba.
The Blue & Gold resumes play tomorrow morning in Milledgeville with a doubleheader against Queens (N.C.) at 10 a.m.