by Brian DeCandia, sports information graduate assistant
MILLEDGEVILLE, Ga. – The Georgia College softball squad (17-11. 4-0 PBC) swept the Georgia Southwestern Hurricanes (12-12, 0-2 PBC) at the Peeler Complex Sunday afternoon, 9-5 and 3-2. The Bobcats start 4-0 in conference for the first time since 2003, when they started 6-0 in the Peach Belt Conference (PBC).
In game one the Bobcats jumped out to an early 3-2 lead after one, aided by a Haley Burnett (Columbus, Ga.) double to right center plating junior Natalie Bellantoni (Oviedo, Fla.). GC added one more in the fourth and four in the fifth when Bellantoni singled to right field driving in two.
Kelsea Martin (Dacula, Ga.) and Bellantoni both finished 2-for-3 with two RBI and one run scored. Burnett also finished 2-for-3, driving in one.
Sabrina Chandler (Covington, Ga.) started the game giving up two earned runs in 4 and 1/3 innings of work. Freshman Kelsey Edmonson (Sandy Springs, Ga.) picked up the victory pitching one inning and surrendering one run. Erica Bell (Fayetteville, Ga.) came in to shut the door picking up her second save of the season.
Game two started off fast paced as the Bobcats led 2-1 after one when Martin hit a two-run triple to the gap in right center. The Hurricanes would tie it up in the fourth when Jessica Chewning drove in Janna Anderson with a single to left center.
The game stayed knotted at two until the bottom of the seventh when Whitney Okvist (Kennesaw, Ga.) led off with a triple over the leftfielder's head to the wall. Bellantoni finished a great afternoon by hitting a sacrifice fly that scored Okvist to end the game.
Burnett had a solid outing receiving the no decision in 5 1/3 innings of work surrendering two runs. Bell came in relief shutting down the Hurricanes in one and 2/3 innings, picking up her fifth win of the season. Okvist finished 2-for-4 with two runs scored and a stolen base.
She has a combined 58 stolen bases in her first two seasons, placing her third on the all-time list and just three behind Aundrea Baker (2003-2006) for second place.
GC softball will finish off its home stand, hosting Flagler College Thursday, March 15 in a PBC doubleheader set to start at 3 p.m.
The Georgia College Department of Athletics, two-time winners of the PBC Commissioner's Cup, sponsors 10 varsity athletic programs at the NCAA Division II level. As a Division II program, Bobcat Athletics prides itself on balancing the life of the student-athlete, evidenced by the teams' multiple appearances in post-season competition as well as documented academic success and community-service involvement. Sign up at www.twitter.com/BobcatSports and www.facebook.com/gcbobcats for up-to-the-minute reports, and visit www.GCBobcats.com for more information, and to nominate your favorite former Bobcats and Colonials to the GC Athletics Hall of Fame.