By Reid Van Woert, Sports Information Graduate Assistant
CLEARWATER, Fla. – The Georgia College Softball program (3-4) was unable to pick up a win in their Saturday doubleheader at the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) Leadoff Classic, falling to Eckerd College (4-5) 2-1 and No. 12 St. Mary's University (Texas) (7-2) 10-2.
The Bobcats began their day facing off against the Eckerd Tritons in a tight early morning matchup. The Tritons struck first in the top half of the opening frame, pushing across one run to give them an early advantage. The Eckerd pitching staff managed to shut down the Georgia College sticks up until the fifth inning. Junior Deja Lester (Jacksonville, Georgia) got things going with a lead-off single and swiped second base to put herself in scoring position for freshman Amber Coy (Warner Robbins, Georgia) drove Lester in with an RBI single to knot things up at 1-1.
The pitchers' duel between Bobcat sophomore Kayla Price (Indian Land, South Carolina) and Nikole Van Gennep continued through the seventh with the score still locked at one. The Tritons were able to take the lead in the top half of the seventh on an RBI single, leaving the Bobcats with one last trip to the plate to tie it up. Georgia College did not have an answer for Van Gennep in the bottom half of the frame, sealing the victory for Eckerd. Price was the tough-luck loser in this one, tossing seven complete innings, allowing two earned on seven hits and four punch-outs.
Georgia College was unable to pick themselves up after a tough loss when they matched up against a dangerous No. 12 St. Mary's squad in the early afternoon. The Bobcat offense came out and put the first run on the board in the top half of the second, but the St. Mary's offense was able to tally one of their own to tie it at one after two innings of play. The bottom of the fourth came around and it was all St. Mary's. The Rattlers showed some timely hitting putting up a seven spot on three hits in the bottom half of the frame to give them a 9-1 lead.
The Bobcats threatened in the top half of the fifth with a blast from Baylee Hall (Hephzibah, Georgia) that nearly left the yard but was ruled a ground-rule double that scored one. The Rattler pitcher managed to work out of a jam and strand two Bobcat base-runners. St. Mary's wrapped up their win with an RBI single to complete the contest in seven innings, defeating Georgia College 10-2.
Georgia College looks to get back in the win column when they finish up their time in Clearwater, a pair of games against the University of Central Missouri and Florida Tech Sunday, Feb. 12 at 9 a.m. and 2 p.m., respectively.
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 social media for up-to-the-minute reports, and visit GCBobcats.PhotoReflect.com to purchase photo prints from home athletic contests.