by Katie Parker, sports information graduate assistant
AIKEN, S.C.- The No. 20 Georgia College & State University softball team (3-0) opened up the 2009 season strong today (Feb. 7) at the Early Bird Tournament going 3-0 including beating its first ranked team of the season, No. 12 Kutztown University.
Georgia College got off to an early start today against the University of Charleston (W.V.) at 10 a.m. The Bobcats dominated the Golden Eagles 8-0 in the season-opener, giving pitcher Mandy Chandler (Covington, Ga.) her first shutout of the year. The senior struck out 14 batters and allowed only one hit for a complete game effort.
Offensively, the Bobcats had 10 hits and the game was called after five innings when the mercy rule was enacted. Outfielder Sherquita Bostick (Florence, S.C.) hit a two-run home run to give the ‘Cats an extra boost.
In game two, Georgia College overpowered Limestone College 6-2 putting up eight hits. Freshman outfielder Stephanie Lezcano (Columbus, Ga.) and senior Chelsea Wilson (Jacksonville, Fla.) both contributed with home runs, Wilson's in a pinch-hit role.
Freshman Haley Burnett (Columbus, Ga.) tossed five innings, fanned three and gave up two runs. All-American Chandler threw the last two innings, sitting down four batters on strikes.
The Bobcats faced their first ranked opponent this afternoon, toppling No. 12 Kutztown University in convincing fashion, 8-2. Seniors Lindsey Swanson (Kennesaw, Ga.) and Tonya Medders (Boscom, Fla,) and Lezcano all went 2-for-4 at the plate giving Georgia College six of its 10 hits. Freshman Anna Parker (Columbus, Ga.) slammed two home runs while junior Kayla Smith (Lexington, S.C.) added one.
Chandler went the distance in this one as well, fanning 11 and allowing three hits. For the day, she pitched 14 innings, struck out 22, gave up six hits and allowed only two runs.
The ‘Cats close out the tournament tomorrow with two games, battling Kutztown at 10 a.m. and taking on Charleston again at noon. The Georgia College home opener is Saturday, Feb. 14 with a doubleheader against Wingate University beginning at noon.
Visit www2.GCSU.edu/Bobcats to nominate your favorite former Bobcats and Colonials to the GCSU Athletics Hall of Fame. The GCSU Department of Athletics sponsors 10 Varsity athletic programs at the NCAA Division II level. As a Division II program, GCSU prides itself on balancing the life of the student-athlete, evidenced by the Bobcats' multiple appearances in post-season competition as well as documented academic success and community-service involvement.