by Trevor Kuss, sports information assistant
MILLEDGEVILLE, Ga. – The Georgia College softball team (21-11) came away with a pair of non-conference victories over Carson-Newman College (16-8) Monday afternoon, capped off by a three-run eighth inning to secure an 8-7 victory in game two of the doubleheader. Dani Gallucci (Orlando, Fla.) led the Bobcats to a 2-1 victory in the first game of the afternoon.
Gallucci improved to 7-4 on the year, going the full seven innings while allowing four hits, three walks and striking out four. She allowed one unearned run, giving her a current streak of 15 1/3 innings without allowing an earned run immediately following a previous streak of 25 innings was snapped. All told, the senior has allowed one earned run in the last 39 1/3 innings. Her ERA stands at 0.88, second in the Peach Belt Conference (PBC).
Kelsea Martin (Dacula, Ga.) had two of the Bobcats' five hits, going 2-for-2 at the plate along with a walk. Taylor Campbell (Warner Robbins, Ga.) continues to swing a hot bat for the Bobcats, going 1-for-2, including the game-winning sacrifice fly in the team's 20th win of the season.
After the pitchers' duel in game one, both offenses were ready to go in the second game of the doubleheader. The Eagles scored a run in the top of the first with a Bri Shoemake single, plating Jessica Morgan.
The Bobcats answered in the bottom of the first, as Martin drilled a grounder down the leftfield line, scoring Kristen Brooks (Brunswick, Ga.).
The Eagles added two more runs in the third inning when Shoemake hit a towering shot to leftfield. Carson-Newman pushed the score to 5-1 with a pair of runs in the fourth inning. Marisa Boyette (Marietta, Ga.) entered the game in the fourth and silenced the Eagle offense for the next three innings.
The Bobcats pushed three runs across in the fifth inning. A Campbell single brought home Whitney Okvist (Kennesaw, Ga.). Gallucci followed with another single, bringing in Natalie Lampert (Marietta, Ga.) and Campbell.
The Bobcats tied the game in the bottom of the sixth inning with back-to-back doubles by Brooks and Okvist.
The teams entered extra innings with the international-tiebreak rule going into effect. The Eagles were able to score a pair in the top of the eighth, making the score 7-5.
The Bobcats started the inning off with a Brooks double to right center, bringing in Natalie Bellantoni (Oviedo, Fla.). Back-to-back bunt singles by Okvist and Abi LeRoy (Dublin, Ga.) plated Brooks to tie the game. Kristen Humphries (Columbus, Ga.) came to the plate with two outs and the winning run as Okvist standing on third base. The sophomore outfielder hit a laser into the left side of the Eagles infield, all runners were safe and Okvist came in to score.
The Bobcats tallied 15 hits in the extra-inning win as Boyette improved to 10-3 on the year. Brooks went 3-for-5 with two doubles and three runs scored. Okvist was 2-for-4 with two runs scored and her 27th stolen base of the season. Okvist's 154 career hits rank sixth in school history, just three behind Shelbie Lindsey (2005-08).
Martin was 5-for-6 at the plate with two walks on the day and Campbell was 3-for-7 with two RBI.
The Bobcats return to action Wednesday, March 13 at 4 p.m. when they travel to take on Lander University (10-13, 0-2 PBC).
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.