March 8, 2014

Okvist Ties PBC Record as Softball Wins Two

MILLEDGEVILLE, Ga. – Georgia College senior Whitney Okvist (Kennesaw, Ga.) tied the Peach Belt Conference (PBC) career record for stolen bases as the Bobcat softball team (19-5) extended its winning streak to six games with a pair of victories over non-conference No. 23 Barry University (15-6) and Newberry College (13-9) Saturday at the Peeler Complex. The Bobcats beat the Buccaneers 9-4 and the Wolves 2-0.

Okvist led off for Georgia College in the second game against Newberry with a single and proceeded to tie the PBC record for stolen bases with her 25th this season and 144th of her career. Okvist now shares the record with Danielle Peters (2004-06) of UNC Pembroke.

Sophomore Lacey Najafi (Suwanee, Ga.) hit her first career home run in the fourth inning for the winning score while going 3-for-3 at the plate. Najafi would also double in the sixth and be replaced on the bags with pinch-runner freshman Savannah Chapman (Cumming, Ga.). Chapman would score the insurance run off  sophomore Kristen Brooks' (Brunswick, Ga.) single after stealing third.

Freshman Carly Lewis (Seymour, Tenn.) would get the shutout (7-2) going the distance with seven strikeouts, while allowing just five hits.

The Bobcats overcame a 3-0 deficit in the early game to Barry before winning 9-4. Freshman Danielle Bernstein (Cumming Ga.) and senior Emily Hammond (Gainesville, Ga.) led the way with a pair of hits, while sophomore Taylor Campbell (Warner Robins, Ga.), Najafi and Brooks all added a pair of RBI.

The Bobcats had a solid fourth inning tying the game at 3-3 with a pair of runs, but could have done more damage after leaving three on base to end the frame. Najafi's single scored Bernstein and Okvist's single scored Chapman, who pinch-ran for Najafi.

Georgia College would add another pair of runs in the fifth, compliments of a pair of Buccaneer errors. The Bobcats would only get a Hammond hit that inning, but Bernstein and Najafi would score to make it a 5-3 game.

Georgia College put the nail in the coffin with a four-run sixth inning after Barry had closed the gap to 5-4. Both Brooks and freshman Faith Flanders (Dublin, Ga.) doubled in the inning, while sophomore Abi LeRoy (Dublin, Ga.), junior Frankie Walls (Dahlonega, Ga.), Bernstein and junior Natalie Lampert (Marietta, Ga.) all scored runs in the inning.

The Bobcats used three pitchers, with Flanders earning the win (7-2) in three innings of work. She allowed just one run and three hits. Lewis added a save, her third, with a pair of scoreless innings.

Georgia College begins PBC play with a doubleheader at No. 10 University of North Georgia Wednesday, March 12 starting at 4 p.m.

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 @GCBobcats on Twitter and Facebook for up-to-the-minute reports, and visit GCBobcats.PhotoReflect.com to purchase photo prints from home athletic contests.