by Trevor Kuss, sports information assistant
ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. – The Georgia College softball team (8-4, 1-1 PBC) made the trip down to Flagler College (9-2, 1-1 PBC) Sunday, starting Peach Belt Conference (PBC) play for both teams with a split. The Bobcats would rally late but come up short 9-6 in the first game. In game two, Marisa Boyette (Marietta, Ga.) would hold the Saints to one run on four hits to secure the win for the Bobcats.
Georgia College jumped out to an early lead in game one, as senior Dani Gallucci (Orlando, Fla.) hit a two-run blast in the top of the first.
The Bobcat defense struggled early as the Saints jumped out to an 8-2 lead after two innings, including a six-run bottom of the second where all of the runs were unearned.
Georgia College chipped away at the deficit, with two runs in both the fifth and sixth innings. Junior Kelsea Martin (Dacula, Ga.) knocked in two runs in the fifth inning with a single to right center. The Bobcats took advantage of wild pitching in the sixth inning, scoring one run without recording a hit and then another with an Abi LeRoy (Dublin, Ga.) single to leftfield.
The Saints held the Bobcats off the scoreboard for the remainder of the game, coming away with the 9-6 victory.
After a short break, the Bobcats returned to the field for game two. While both teams were able to put up a myriad of runs in game one, they would be hard to come by as Boyette and Flagler pitcher Tinsley Smith would allow only four total runs while each going the full seven innings.
The Bobcats would put up the first run in the third inning as freshman Lacey Najafi (Suwannee, Ga.) came around to score on a throwing error by the catcher on a Whitney Okvist (Kennesaw, Ga.) bunt.
The score remained 1-0 until the Bobcats came to bat in the fifth inning. LeRoy singled up the middle, bringing in Okvist and advancing Frankie Walls (Dahlonega, Ga.) to third. A double steal by Walls and LeRoy brought in the second run of the inning.
In the pitcher's circle, Boyette held the Saints scoreless through 6 1/3 innings, allowing one run to score before collecting the final two outs. She struck out six while only allowing four hits.
LeRoy was 3-for-5 on the day, raising her season average to .459, good for fifth in the PBC. She also scored twice and picked up two RBI. Martin was 3-for-6 on the day with two RBI. She is tied for third most RBI in the PBC. Boyette's outing dropped her ERA to 2.39 on the year. Her 35 strikeouts are fifth best in the PBC.
Georgia College now has a pair of wins over ranked opponents, also beating No. 19 Barry University this season.
The Bobcats return to action Wednesday, Feb. 20 at 3 p.m. when they host the Anderson University Trojans for a doubleheader at the Peeler Complex.
The Georgia College Department of Athletics, two-time winners of the PBC Commissioner's Cup, sponsors 11 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.