UNCP Gets Back On Track With Doubleheader Sweep Of Columbus State
PEMBROKE – After losing three consecutive games to ranked opponents UNCP righted the ship with a pair of victories over Peach Belt Conference rival Columbus State at LRA Softball Field on Thursday afternoon, winning game one 8-1 before taking game two 9-1 in six innings.
The two wins for the Braves improve their overall record to 21-12 and their conference record to 8-6. The Cougars fall to 11-18-1 on the year and 0-6 in the PBC.
Reigning PBC Freshman of the Week Alex Hartshorn (10-3) picked up the game one victory allowing one run on four hits in seven innings of work with three walks and seven strikeouts. Caroline Newman (8-8) earned the win in game giving up one run on two hits with three strikeouts in five innings pitched.
Courtney Darr was credited with the loss in game one giving up three runs (two earned) on three hits in three innings to fall to 1-1 on the year. Kelsey Gilliam was on the hook for the loss in game two allowing four runs (one earned) on five hits with three walks and four K's in four innings of work.
Jelena Shaw posted the first run of the day in her very first at bat, launching a home run to centerfield on the very first pitch she saw in the first inning. The Braves were able to add another run in the bottom of the first on a passed ball to take an early 2-0 lead.
UNCP went up 3-0 in the bottom of the third when Holly Berry singled in Shaw from third with two outs. The Cougars' Brittany Leverett cut the Pembroke lead to two runs in the top of the fourth with a solo shot to center of her own to get CSU on the board.
After scoring a pair of runs in the bottom of the fifth centerfielder Morgan Patrick launched a three-run homer down the leftfield line in the bottom of the sixth to put Pembroke up 8-1. The Cougars were unable to plate any runners in the top of the seventh as UNCP picked up its 20th win of the season.
Third baseman Carrie Jones put the Cougars up 1-0 in game two when she hit a bomb to center on the first pitch of the fourth inning. The Braves would answer in the bottom half of the fourth capitalizing on a pair of CSU errors that allowed UNCP to score three runs in the frame.
UNCP scored two more runs in the fifth inning highlighted by a Randi Pruitt double to right-center that put the Black & Gold up 5-1 after five. The Braves would win the game in the sixth scoring two runs on a Leigh Smith single to left and then two more on a Kara Tucker double down the leftfield line to put the Braves up by eight runs at 9-1.