ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. – The Georgia College softball team (36-15) entered the semifinal round of the Peach Belt Conference (PBC) Tournament Sunday afternoon facing USC Aiken (25-21). The Bobcats finished with a 4-3 walk-off victory, their second of that variety in as many days. They would return to the field less than an hour later to battle Columbus State University (39-16) for the PBC Title, but the Bobcats would drop the game by a score of 12-0.
The Bobcats scored early against Aiken, putting a run across in the bottom of the first as Kristen Brooks (Brunswick, Ga.) came in to score on a wild pitch by India Kornegay of the Pacers. The Pacers pulled Kornegay after just 2/3 of an inning, bringing in Taylor Morgan to get the final out of the first.
Dani Gallucci (Orlando, Fla.) kept the Pacers off the board for five innings, but Aiken would score three runs in the top of the sixth, stringing together three hits and two walks to take a 3-1 lead.
The Bobcats quickly tied the game in the bottom of the inning as Gallucci ripped a two-run home run over the leftfield fence, scoring herself and Kelsea Martin (Dacula, Ga.).
The Bobcats came to the plate in the bottom of the seventh with the score still tied 3-3. Taking advantage of Morgan losing the strike zone, the Bobcats recorded four straight walks with two outs in the inning capped by a Kristen Humphries (Columbus, Ga.) walk, scoring Abi LeRoy (Dublin, Ga.) to secure the victory and advance to the championship game for the first time since 2008.
GC Softball faced off against Mollie Russell and reigning champions the Columbus State Cougars for the title. Gallucci started the game but after throwing over 100 pitches in the first game, she did not last beyond the second inning. The Cougars hit a pair of three-run home runs in their half of the second inning, giving Russell more than enough room to work with.
Russell held the Bobcats to two hits through seven innings. She struck out nine while walking just one en route to her third win of the tournament, second of the day and 22nd of the season.
The Bobcats now await the NCAA regional announcements, as they'll be vying for an at-large bid and first regional appearance since 2009. The NCAA Regional Tournaments are set to begin May 10.
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.