MILLEDGEVILLE, Ga. -- The Georgia Southwestern State University softball team twice came up just short of earning a Peach Belt Conference road win Friday, falling by scores of 11-10 and 8-7 to Georgia College at the Peeler Softball Complex.
GSW all-time home run leader Hayley Tierce added two more to her record total, including a grand slam that brought the Lady Canes (10-15, 0-4 PBC) within a run in the first game while freshman Lauren Kuerzi hit her third and fourth homers of the season to go along with five RBIs.
Freshman pitcher/outfielder Ansley Dean collected five hits, going 2-for-3 at the plate in game one followed by a 3-for-4 outing in game two with four runs scored on the day.
Game 1: Georgia Southwestern 10 Georgia College 11
Kuerzi got GSW on the board first, crushing a 2-run shot to left that scored Mikela Barlow after she led off the game with a single. Georgia College answered in the bottom half, scoring four runs on four hits and an error to knock out starter Ansley Dean who was replaced by Brittany Childs.
Dean led off the third with a single and scored on Kuerzi's second homer in as many at bats, another deep shot to left that tied the game at four. The Bobcats had an answer again, responding with five runs on seven hits off Childs and Madason Messer who came on halfway through the inning to take a 9-4 lead. The inning began with a double and the final six hits were all singles, four of them driving in a run.
After GC added a run in the fourth the Lady Canes had their big inning in the fifth. Chloe Zoeller led of with a single before the next three batters walked to force in the first run and make the score 10-5. Tierce followed with the grand slam down the left field line to bring GSW within just a run at 10-9. Elizabeth Wills and Shannon Gibson followed with singles, but two straight fielder's choices and a groundout ended the rally.
Georgia College added an insurance run in the bottom half of the inning on an RBI single to make it 11-9. Barlow started the top half of the sixth with a flyout before the next three GSW batters reached via the free pass, followed by a bases loaded hit by pitch that made it an 11-10 ballgame. Another fielder's choice and a Cassidy Burton line out to shortstop ended the inning. Zoeller and Dean both singled in the seventh, but Zoeller was picked off third on a Lauren Kuerzi walk to end the game.
Game 2: Georgia Southwestern 7 Georgia College 8
GSW started the scoring for the second time in as many games when Tierce doubled to right center, plating Barlow after she led off the game with a walk. Shannon Gibson started the game in the circle and got through the first inning unscathed before allowing three runs on four hits in the second that gave the Bobcats a 3-1 lead.
Chloe Zoeller drew a bases loaded walk in the fourth to make it a 3-2 game before the Bobcats got a 2-run single from Caroline Snider and an RBI single from Caitlyn Davis to make it a 6-2 Georgia College lead after four.
The Lady Canes clawed back to within a run again in the fifth thanks to the two big bats in the middle of the lineup. Dean singled to start the inning and scored on a Kuerzi double to right center before Tierce followed with a 2-run bomb to center making it 6-5.
After a scoreless sixth, GSW took the lead in the seventh thanks to a KayLynn Church 2-run double to left center that brought around Gibson and Tierce who both walked. The Bobcats, as they were able to do all day, had an answer in the bottom half. Holland Coursey singled and scored on a Sutton Long triple to right tying the game at seven. Hannah Coursey followed with a pinch-hit walk-off single up the middle to score Long and give Georgia College the sweep.
Up Next: The Lady Canes return home for a nonconference doubleheader with Albany State Tuesday at Lady Canes Field. First pitch is scheduled for 3:00 p.m. with the second game to follow at 5:00 p.m.