by Mark Jagord, sports information assistant
MILLEDGEVILLE, Ga. – The Georgia College softball team (34-14, 13-9 PBC) enters the Peach Belt Conference (PBC) Tournament this weekend as the No. 4 seed after sophomore Marisa Boyette (Marietta, Ga.) inspired her teammates; pitching a one-hit shutout in the second game of a doubleheader against Lander University (8-42, 2-20 PBC) Tuesday on Senior Day at the Peeler Complex. The Bobcats took both contests, 7-2 and 9-0 as they prepare to make a championship run.
Boyette (12-6) struck out half the batters she faced in five innings of work. The sophomore hurler fanned nine and allowed just one walk, while her counterpart freshman Carly Lewis (Seymour, Tenn.)(16-8) allowed seven hits and one earned run with five strikeouts in seven innings in the opening game.
In the first game, four players accounted for all nine Bobcat hits as Georgia College took a 6-0 lead after five innings before coasting to the 7-2 win. In the shortened second game, the Bobcats also came away with nine hits but in five innings and scored at least one run at every at-bat.
On a day set to honor the seniors, they did not disappoint. Emily Hammond (Gainesville, Ga.) was solid in the field with only one official at-bat, while the two Whitneys did massive damage offensively. Whitney Horton (Acworth, Ga.) and Whitney Okvist (Kennesaw, Ga.) combined for 8-of-12 at the plate, scoring seven runs with one RBI while stealing three bases.
Game one belonged to sophomore Danielle Knight (Dudley, Ga.). She went 3-for-3 and scored two runs with one RBI. She opened the scoring for the Bobcats in the third inning and doubled in the fourth. Sophomore Abi LeRoy (Dublin, Ga.), Okvist and Horton all ended the first game with a pair of hits.
Game two saw Knight, Horton and Okvist lead the squad with two hits apiece, the latter scoring three and stealing a base to bring her career total to 162. Knight accounted for half the team's eight RBI, and freshman Faith Flanders ((Dublin, Ga.) hit a solo home run in the second.
The team now travels to Florence, S.C. as the fourth seed after finishing with identical 13-9 records with Flagler College, but winning the tie-breaker after sweeping the Saints earlier this season. The Bobcats start against the Saints Friday, April 18 at 1:30 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.