COLUMBUS, Ga. -- The Georgia Southwestern State University softball team dropped a pair of games at the Southern Softball Showdown Saturday as the 2018 season got underway. The Lady Canes fell 8-4 against Palm Beach Atlantic before Mississippi College scored five runs in the sixth to break open a tied game and win 8-3 in the night cap.
Senior first baseman Allee Denney had two hits and two RBIs on the day while scoring the game-tying run in the top of the sixth vs. Mississippi College on a double to left field by Graysen Sanders. Freshman Lauren Kuerzi collected two hits with a double, run scored and an RBI Saturday while junior transfer Payton Singletary added two hits an RBI and two walks for GSW.
Game 1: Palm Beach Atlantic 8, Georgia Southwestern 4
The Lady Canes fell behind early against Palm Beach Atlantic as the Sailfish scored a run in the first and second innings to take a 2-0 lead on starting pitcher Shannon Gibson. GSW would answer in the bottom of the fourth when Gibson helped her own cause. She doubled down the left field line, moved to third on a sac bunt from Ansley Dean and scored on an RBI groundout by Denney, making it 2-1.
The Sailfish tacked on two more in the fifth as the Lady Canes committed three errors in the inning leading to the runs for Palm Beach Atlantic. GSW answered again in the bottom half, scoring two of their own. Chloe Zoeller reached on an error and advanced to second on the play before scoring on a Hayley Tierce RBI single. Tierce advanced to second on throw and scored on the double from Kuerzi in the following at bat.
Palm Beach Atlantic scored four runs in the sixth to break the game open, the big blow coming on a grand slam from third baseman Edmilly Molina. GSW tacked on the final run in the bottom half on a bases loaded walk from Zoeller that scored Elizabeth Wills making it 8-4.
Game 2: Mississippi College 8, Georgia Southwestern 3
The Lady Choctaws jumped out quickly against GSW starter Brittany Childs, scoring two runs on two hits in the bottom of the first. The Lady Canes would find an answer again, this time in the top of the fourth.
Lauren Kuerzi led of the inning with a single, moved to second on a sac bunt from Gibson and advanced to third on a throwing error before scoring on an Allee Denney groundout to first base. After Gibson moved to third on an Ansley Dean groundout GSW tied the game when Payton Singletary singled to center bringing home Gibson and making it 2-2.
Mississippi College took a 3-2 lead in the bottom of the fifth on a walk followed by a double from Jessica Aron. GSW tied the game again in the sixth when Denney led off with a walk, moved to third on a wild pitch and sac bunt, then scored on the Graysen Sanders double to left center.
The Lady Choctaws scored five runs on four hits in the bottom of the sixth, four off the starter Childs and one of Madason Messer who came on in relief and got the final two outs of the inning.
Up Next: The Lady Canes wrap up the Southern Softball Showdown with two more games Sunday. GSW takes on Embry-Riddle at 12:30 p.m. and finishes the day with a 3:00 first pitch against Union (TN).