by Mark Jagord, sports information assistant
ANDERSON, S.C. – The No. 7-seed Georgia College softball team (34-17) dropped a 2-0 elimination game to No. 6-seed USC Aiken (33-15) in the NCAA Southeast Region Tournament Saturday evening at Smethers Field. The teams registered a combined six hits after the game started five hours late.
Although the Bobcats were unable to produce a run, they did strand at least one runner in each of the game's first four innings. The Pacers produced runs in their first and last at-bats.
Kaitlyn White was the first Pacer batter, starting with a triple. A Bobcat fielding error allowed White to score for a 1-0 USC Aiken lead. The game stayed that way until the sixth inning when the Pacers added the game's final run.
Senior Whitney Okvist (Kennesaw, Ga.) had the lone Georgia College hit, registering a double in the third inning. The senior advanced to third, but the Bobcats couldn't bring her home. Okvist's first at-bat was a line-shot to centerfield on which the Pacers made a great defensive play.
Sophomore Marisa Boyette (Marietta, Ga.) (12-7) went the distance allowing five hits and one earned run for the hard-luck loss. The second-year hurler had four strikeouts with one walk.
Sophomore Abi LeRoy (Dublin, Ga.) sent one to the warning track in the sixth that was close to tying the game, but Georgia College's best chances came in the fourth. LeRoy led-off with a walk and senior Whitney Horton (Acworth, Ga.) reached on an error. A Kristen Humphries (Columbus, Ga.) sacrifice advanced the Bobcat runners to scoring position with one out, but Georgia College just couldn't find a way to bring home its base runners today.
Georgia College couldn't solve Pacers pitcher India Kornegay (23-5). She threw a one-hit shutout with seven strikeouts to give USCA its first NCAA Tournament win in program history.
Although the game was scheduled for a 1:30 p.m. start, rain delayed the game until 6:30 p.m.
This marks the second-straight NCAA Regional bid for GC Softball and the seventh overall. The Bobcats have won the region championship twice, the most recent coming in 2006.
Georgia College placed four players on the All-PBC Teams and had five players listed in the Peach Belt Conference's (PBC) top-10 in several categories this season.
Okvist finishes No. 5 on the NCAA Division II all-time stolen bases list finishing the season with 163 swipes for her career. Her 44 this season led the PBC, adding to the conference's career record.
LeRoy trailed Okvist in both batting average and stolen bases, but was second on the team in both. Her 16 swipes were good for seventh in the PBC. She ranks sixth in the conference and first on the team in RBI with 43.
Campbell was second on the team in RBI and co-led the team in home runs with five. She was named as a first team third baseman on this year's All-PBC Teams.
Bernstein finished tied-ninth in the PBC for stolen bases with 15. The steals total also ranked third on the team behind Okvist and LeRoy, respectively.
Both Boyette and freshman Carly Lewis (Seymour, Tenn.) were ranked in the four PBC categories. Lewis lead the PBC in saves with three, was fourth in ERA with a 2.02, sixth in wins with 16 and tied-ninth in strikeouts with 103. Boyette was tied-ninth in wins with 12 and eighth in ERA with a 2.36.
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.