Wills, Gibson Homers Not Enough Against Montevallo

Wills, Gibson Homers Not Enough Against Montevallo

AMERICUS, Ga. -- Freshman Elizabeth Wills hit her 10th and 11th home runs of the season but it wasn't enough as the Georgia Southwestern State University softball team dropped 11-7 and 6-3 non-conference decisions to Montevallo Wednesday at Lady Canes Field.

Wills has now homered in three straight games and is third in the conference in long balls behind teammate Hayley Tierce (14) and Francis Marion's Jessica Harney (13).

Shannon Gibson added four hits and a home run to go along with two RBIs as GSW fell to 18-31 on the season. Darbi Duke had five hits in eight plate appearances to lead the Falcons, who improved to 28-12 this spring.

How It Happened:

Game 1: Georgia Southwestern 7 Montevallo 11

Montevallo jumped out to an early lead by scoring three runs on three hits in the first inning, a problem that has haunted GSW all season long. Kelsey Vining and Brianna Stella both had run-scoring hits in the inning. The Lady Canes had an answer in the bottom half, scoring a run after Mikela Barlow led off with a double, moved to third on an error and scored on a Hayley Tierce sacrifice fly to make it 3-1.

GSW tied the game at three in the third when Barlow scored on an error by the third baseman and Gibson hit an infield single to bring home Chloe Zoeller who reached on a fielder's choice. Gibson started in the circle and got through three scoreless after giving up the runs in the first, but ran into trouble again in the fifth.

The Falcons scored first on a two-run double of the bat of Stella and brought home their third run on a Haley Barnette single to take a 6-3 lead. As they have several times this season the Lady Canes answered back in the bottom half to take the lead.

Tierce singled before Wills hit a 2-run bomb and Gibson went back-to-back with a solo shot to tie the game at six. Ansley Dean walked in the next at bat and Allee Denney brought her around with a double to right that made it 7-6 GSW.

UM started the sixth with two straight singles that knocked Gibson out of the game in favor of Madason Messer. RBI singles from Duke and Stella, plus a run-scoring double by Barnette led to five Falcons crossing the plate in the inning as they put the game away. Messer took the loss for GSW, falling to 8-8 after going two full and giving up three earned on four hits while Jessica Boyd picked up her seventh win for Montevallo.   

Tierce, Gibson and Denney each recorded to hits for GSW.

Game 2: Georgia Southwestern 3 Montevallo 6

The Falcons got out in front early again, scoring a run in the first off Messer after Duke singled, stole second and third and crossed the plate on a Stella single for a 1-0 lead. UM made it 2-0 in the third when Barnette put down a sacrifice bunt to score Duke again after she led off with a double.

GSW answered for the third time in two games in the bottom half of the inning. Barlow was hit by a pitch and scored on a double to left off the bat of Zoeller to make it 2-1. After a pop out and a strikeout Wills followed with her second homer of the day, a two-run shot deep over the fence in right to make it 3-2 Lady Canes after three.

Messer got through the fourth and was replaced by Ansley Dean in the fifth. She got the first two outs of the inning before Kelsey Vining hit a solo homer to tie the game at three. The Falcons scored two runs on one hit and an error in the sixth and added an insurance run in the seventh as GSW couldn't get anything going off reliever Alexis Bonanno. She picked up her ninth win of the season, throwing the final two ⅓ innings allowing no hits and striking out four.

Dean took the loss (3-7) for GSW after going three innings and giving up four runs on four hits.

Up Next: GSW plays their regular season finale in a Peach Belt Conference doubleheader Saturday at Flagler. First pitch is scheduled for 1:00 p.m. with the second game to follow at 3:00.