by Mark Jagord, sports information assistant
ANDERSON, S.C. – The No. 7-seed Georgia College softball team (34-16) fell victim to a pair of early home runs by host No. 2-seed Anderson University (41-10) in dropping a 4-3 decision in the NCAA Southeast Region Tournament First Round Friday afternoon at Smethers Field.
The Bobcats will play No. 6-seed USC Aiken tomorrow, May 10 in an elimination game at 1:30 p.m. with the hope of facing either No. 3-seed Armstrong Atlantic State University or Anderson again on Sunday.
After falling behind 4-0 after three innings, the Bobcats came to life in the fourth with a three-run inning. Anderson opted to change pitchers in the fifth inning with the first two Bobcat batters getting on base and prospects were looking promising. Georgia College would end the fifth leaving runners stranded on second and third and that was as close as the Bobcats would get as Trojan relief pitcher Lauren Rudesheim would not allow a hit the rest of the way.
All of the Anderson runs were the result of a Child's play. In the first inning, Molly Child belted a solo home run to stake the Trojans to a 1-0 lead. In the third, Abby Child hit a three-run homer to end Anderson's scoring at 4-0.
At that point of the game the Bobcat sophomores took over. Sophomore Abi LeRoy (Dublin, Ga.) started the Bobcat rally with a single to rightfield as the lead-off batter. Sophomore Taylor Campbell (Warner Robins, Ga.) followed with a double down the right line to score LeRoy and get the Bobcats on the board 4-1.
Sophomore Danielle Knight (Dudley, Ga.) then hit one out of Smethers Field with a two-run blast to right and the Bobcats were within a run at 4-3.
Anderson pulled winning starting-pitcher Katelyn Howser (19-5), but the Bobcats were still coming and couldn't bring home their two runners in the fifth.
There were only three total hits combined for both teams after the relievers took over. Sophomore Marisa Boyette (Marietta, Ga.) was solid in relief giving up no runs and two hits in three innings. Freshman Carly Lewis (Seymour, Tenn.) only allowed three hits in three innings, but two went over the fence. The loss brought Lewis' season record to 16-10.
Unlike the two previous meetings this season with Anderson, the Bobcats did not out-hit the Trojans this time around. Five different Bobcats registered hits as both teams ended the contest with five apiece.
If Georgia College gets by USC Aiken (32-15) tomorrow at 1:30 p.m., it would play the loser of the preceding game of Anderson and Armstrong (31-12). The Bobcats would face either the Pirates or the Trojans Saturday 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.