Softball Splits Series with Conference foe Lander
By John Hernly, Sports Writer
The UNCP softball team faced off against Lander in a two game series of Feb. 21. The teams split the series with Lander winning game one and UNCP game two.
The Black and Gold fell in the first matchup of the day 5-0 thanks to Lander’s Hannah Newton who threw a shutout.
The first four innings of play proved to be low scoring with neither teams gaining any runs.
Both pitchers were in a groove taking down batter after batter.
To start the top of the fifth inning, Lander got a player on base with a player’s decision to get a base runner out. The Lady Braves gave up a double to allow Lander to score the first run of the game.
Lander scored one more run in the fifth with a sacrifice fly ball from Destiny Clyde.
UNCP got one base runner on in the bottom of the fifth inning; however, the Lady Braves left the runner on base with the third out.
Lander hit two home runs in the top of the sixth inning that increased their lead on UNCP by three. The Lady Braves failed to fight back and never scored in the 5-0 loss to Lander.
In the second game of the series UNCP was a different team as they demolished Lander 13-6 to even to overall series at a game each.
Offense was the key to victory for the Lady Braves in game two as the Black and Gold exploded for six runs in two separate innings.
UNCP’s Katie Saunders also pitched well for the Lady Braves and got the win to improve her record to 4-1.
In the second inning of play, UNCP’s Brea Hartley put the first run on the board with a solo homer to left field.
The third inning was scoreless for both teams. The forth inning was a different story for the Lady Braves.
The Black and Gold got six runs in the forth thanks to strong hits. Brea Hartley singled to left field to allow Jamie Johnson to score. Next there was a fly out that gave the Lady Braves another run.
With three runners on base, Karlee Wilson hit a grand slam to bring all runners in give the Braves a 7-1 lead.
In the sixth inning, the Braves got six more runs that gave them a 13-5 lead over Lander.
The mercy rule was in place at this time and the game was called with the win being awarded to the Lady Braves.
Photo by Catherine George. Katie Saunders winds up to pitch the ball in a game earlier this season.