Softball Sweeps Doubleheader against North Carolina A&T
GREENSBORO, N.C. – The UNCG softball team earned a doubleheader sweep against North Carolina A&T, 11-8, in game one and 10-1 in five innings Thursday at the Lady Aggie Softball Complex.
The Spartans improve to 23-5 on season, while the Aggies drop to 2-19 with the losses. UNCG returned to its hitting form after scoring 21 runs, 20 hits and two home runs in the doubleheader.
UNCG 11, NC A&T 8
In game one, UNCG came back from a four-run deficit after a clutch seven-run sixth inning to take down the Aggies, 11-8.
Four UNCG hitters had multiple hits, including a perfect 3-for-3 effort from freshman Allison Geiner (Raleigh, N.C./Middle Creek). Geiner finished with an RBI and two runs scored. Classmate Danielle Vega (Rialto, Calif./Aquinas) went 2-for-5 with three RBI and two doubles. Junior Aisha Figueroa (Virginia Beach, Va./Ocean Lakes) also had two hits with a run scored and two RBI, while junior Katelyn Bedwell (Surrey, B.C./Elgin Park) went 2-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored.
In the circle, freshman Nicole Thomas (Irvine, Calif./Northwood) earned her fourth victory after throwing 2.2 innings of relief, allowing two earned runs with one strikeout. Sophomore Erica Navarette (San Marcos, Calif./Mission Hills) picked up the save after finishing the final two innings, allowing one hit with two strikeouts.
In the top of the second, UNCG took an early 3-0 lead on two hits with a clutch two-run double from Vega providing the big blow. Senior Heather Robb (Apex, N.C./Middle Creek) singled to start the frame, while sophomore Tatiana Alcala (Oxnard, Calif./Pacifica) reached on a fielder's choice after a throwing error by the first basemen allowed Robb to move to second. After a nice sacrifice bunt from junior Toni MacReynolds (Vienna, Va./James Madison), Geiner worked a walk to load the bases. Figueroa earned an RBI groundout and Vega followed a two-out double to plate two runs.
North Carolina A&T would respond with back-to-back home runs from Jax Woodward and Sabrina Edmonds to start the bottom of the second. The Aggies would end the inning down by one, 3-2.
The Aggies took the lead in the third after scoring four runs on five hits with two errors by the Spartans. Dominique Smith doubled to start the rally. Zabresha Blakeney singled to right field and an error allowed Smith to score from second. Alejandra Barcenas reached on an error by the shortstop that allowed Blakeney to score another run. Woodard drove in another run off an RBI single to left field to give North Carolina A&T a 5-3 advantage. Shelby Snyder added another run off a two-out single centerfield to push the Aggies total to 6-3.
Freshman Lindsay Thomas (Irvine, Calif./Northwood) cut the lead to 6-4 with a solo home run to begin the fifth inning for the Spartans. It was Thomas' 12th home run of the season.
The Aggies added two insurance runs in the fifth inning off three hits to take an 8-4 lead. Raven Smith had an RBI double in the frame.
UNCG would rally in the sixth, scoring seven runs on five hits to take an 11-8 advantage. Geiner singled up the middle to begin the rally. Figueroa singled to third base, while Vega doubled to right center to plate Geiner from second. Bedwell singled up the middle for another RBI and senior Eileen Horsmon (Dunkirk, Md./Northern) earned an RBI walk. Robb worked another RBI walk to tie the game at 8-8. After a strikeout, Bedwell scored the go ahead run on a wild pitch and Geiner picked up her second hit of the inning with an RBI single through the infield. Figueroa earned the final RBI on another walk to give UNCG an 11-8 lead.
Navarette would shut the door in the seventh with a swinging strikeout to start the inning. Edmonds fouled out to the catched, while Smith singled to the shortstop. With two outs, Navarette ended the game with a swinging strikeout on Snyder to give the Spartans the win.
UNCG 10, NC A&T 1 (in five innings)
In game two, the Spartans continued their hitting display with 10 runs on eight hits to run-rule the Aggies, 10-1 in five innings.
Navarette pitched a complete game to earn her fourth win of the season, allowing just one earned run on three hits with seven strikeouts.
UNCG quickly took a 2-0 lead after Thomas belted a two-run home run to straight away centerfield. It was Thomas' 13th home run of the season.
In the bottom of the second inning, the Aggies got on the board with a solo home run from Smith to right field to cut the lead to 2-1.
The Spartans put the game out of reach with a five-run third inning on three hits. Figueroa singled to start the inning, while Vega reached on an error by the shortstop. Thomas walked to load the bases when Bedwell earned a sacrifice fly to left field to make the score 3-1 UNCG. After a fielder's choice, Robb lined a two-run triple to right field to push the lead to 5-1. Alcala roped another triple to the right field corner to give UNCG a 6-1 lead. With two outs, Alcala would come home on a wild pitch for the final run of the inning.
In the fourth inning, UNCG added three insurance runs on three hits to take a commanding 10-1 lead. Geiner doubled to centerfield to begin the frame. After an out, Vega singled up the middle to put runners on first and third. Thomas walked to load the bases and Bedwell came through with a two-run single up the middle to score two runs. Robb would pick up the other RBI in the inning off a sacrifice fly to deep left field.
Navarette would finish the game in style by striking out the side in the fifth inning to give the Spartans the doubleheader sweep.
UNCG returns home for a three-game series against SoCon foe Furman starting Saturday, March 23 at 1 p.m. at the UNCG softball stadium.
Be sure to follow all updates about the UNCG softball season on www.uncgspartans.com or on twitter @UNCGsports/@UNCGsoftball.