Kimmy Beasley flirted with a no-hitter of her own, giving up just one hit to the penultimate hitter of the game. She struck out five UND hitters while walking just one. With Friday’s performance, the Foreman, Ark., native improves to 3-2 on the season and pushes her season total to 32 strikeouts. After walking the second hitter of the game, Beasley retired the next 13 she faced.
COLUMBIA, S.C. – Behind a stellar performance from redshirt junior Julie Sarratt, South Carolina (8-2) defeated Boston University (0-1) 2-0 in the final game on Friday of the 2014 Gamecock Invitational at Carolina Softball Stadium at Beckham Field.
Sarratt (2-1) struck out 10 Terriers in five innings of work, giving up only one hit while not walking anyone. Freshman Nickie Blue collected her first career save with two scoreless innings of relief, fanning two while walking one and giving up two hits.
The Gamecocks used a BU error to get on the board in the fourth. Senior second baseman Dana Hathorn drew a two-out walk, and junior centerfielder Kristen Struett reached on an error to keep the inning alive. South Carolina head coach Beverly Smith used freshman Victoria Williams to pinch hit, and she delivered a flare to left that landed in the grass, scoring Hathorn from second and giving SC the lead. Senior shortstop Codee Yeske added an insurance run in the fifth, tripling to center and scoring on a Terrier error.
The Gamecocks’ three hits came from the bottom of the order, as Williams, senior right fielder Chelsea Hawkins and Yeske all reached safely with hits. Boston’s three hits came from Moriah Connolly, Mandy Fernandez and Brittany Clendenny. The Terriers’ Melanie Russell took the loss, giving up two unearned runs on three hits and a walk in six innings. She struck out four.s
Rain pushed back the start of the Gamecock Invitational, which forced South Carolina to reschedule its outing against Gardner-Webb to 5:30 p.m. on Saturday. In Friday’s earlier games, Gardner-Webb used a two-run eighth to beat Georgetown 2-1 (8), while Michigan State downed UNC Wilmington 5-2.
The Seahawks and Hoyas start Saturday’s action at 10 a.m., with Boston and Michigan State following at 12:30 p.m. With the weather moving back the Gardner-Webb game for South Carolina a day, the Gamecocks face Michigan State and the Runnin’ Bulldogs at 3 and 5:30 p.m., respectively, on Saturday. GWU and BU close the day at 8 p.m. Live video is available for both of South Carolina’s contests, while Gametracker will be set for all five games.
No. 12 Aggies Split Games on Day Two of Mary Nutter Classic
CATHEDRAL CITY, Calif. – The No. 12 Texas A&M softball team battled to a 10-6 win over California (5-5) before dropping a walk-off, 3-2 game to No. 11 Nebraska (8-2), Friday at the Mary Nutter Classic.
The Aggies are now 11-4 on the season after the win over Cal and the hard-fought loss to Nebraska. Freshman April Ryan gave the Aggies a chance against the Cornhuskers when her seventh-inning home run tied the game and sent it to extra innings.
Texas A&M and Cal fought through a back-and-forth game, and the Aggies came out ahead with the 10-6 victory. Senior Emily Albus was 4-for-5 on the game with a run scored and three RBI, and Ryan was 3-for-5 with two runs scored and two RBI.
The Aggie bats were hot in the top of the first as Texas A&M took a 2-0 jump on the Golden Bears. Albus led off with a single down the left field line and was thrown out at second on a fielder’s choice that put freshman April Ryan on first.
Senior Nicole Morgan hit an RBI triple to right field that sent Ryan home from first before an errant throw from second went out of play and allowed Morgan to score the second run of the half-inning.
Cal left runners on base in the first and second innings, and took advantage of a two-on, one-out situation in the third with a three-run home run over left field for the 3-2 lead.
The home run lit a fire under the Aggie offense, as Texas A&M regained the lead in the top of the fourth and ended the half-inning with a 7-3 lead.
The Aggies loaded the bases in time for a double hit perfectly down the line in left field by Emily Albus. Albus’ shot scored a pair of runs for the 4-3 lead on the Golden Bears.
A two-RBI base hit up the middle in the next at-bat by Ryan pushed the Aggie lead to 6-3 before senior Amber Garza added a seventh run with a sacrifice fly out to right field that sent Ryan home for the final run of the half-inning.
The Golden Bears nearly matched the Aggies’ effort in the bottom of the inning, scoring a run on a sacrifice fly out and two more on a throwing error by Texas A&M. All three runners who scored reached on one-out base hits and helped Cal get within one run of A&M at 7-6.
Back-to-back solo home runs by sophomores Breanna Dozier and Cali Lanphear gave the Aggies a 9-6 lead on Cal in the top of the fifth. Dozier sent the second pitch she saw searing over dead-centerfield, before Lanphear followed suit with a bomb to right field.
Cal put two runners on base in the fifth and sixth innings, but a diligent Aggie defense sent the runners back to the dugout without crossing the plate.
In the top of the seventh, Dozier reached on a walk and was replaced by pinch runner Allison Garrett. Lanphear was hit by a pitch, and with two on Albus earned her third RBI of the game on her third hit – a single up the middle that plated Garrett for the 10-6 lead.
Aggie freshman starter Abby Donnell (3-0) earned the win after allowing four earned runs on six hits and three walks, while striking out one through 3 1/3 innings. Sophomore transfer Katie Marks (1) took her first save of the season when she allowed no earned runs on her watch, giving up one hit and walking two while adding six strikeouts in 3 2/3 innings of action.
Cal’s Nisa Ontiveros (3-2) suffered the loss when she allowed six earned runs on seven hits and a walk in her 3 1/3-inning start.
After an offensive battle with Cal, the Aggies entered a top-25 pitching duel with No. 11 Nebraska.
Nebraska struck first in game two, using a triple and an RBI single in the bottom of the second to take a quick 1-0 lead. The Cornhuskers loaded the bases after the run, but Aggie pitcher Rachel Fox struck out the final batter to end the inning.
The Huskers put two more runners on base in the fourth, but a double play turned by Tyler helped the Aggies out of the inning, unscathed.
Texas A&M put runners on base in the first six innings, but the Aggies were unable to produce a run. Albus reached third in the first inning after an infield single, and Morgan got as far as second in the third inning after reaching on a walk.
In the top of the fifth, Texas A&M loaded the bases but again was unable to push a run across the plate. Albus had her sixth hit of the day and her second of the game to lead off, but was thrown out at home on a bases-loaded fielder’s choice.
Nebraska loaded the bases in the top of the sixth, but the Aggies continued to fight through the jam, and ended the inning with the same 1-0 score in the Huskers’ favor.
With the game on the line in the top of the seventh, Ryan led off with a no-doubt home run over right field to tie the ballgame at 1-1.
In the bottom of the seventh, Nebraska put two runners in scoring position but Fox caught the last batter swinging to end regulation in a tie and send the game into extra frames.
Senior Cassie Tysarczyk started the top of the eighth running at second base, per International Tiebreaker rules. An error on Nebraska put a runner on base and allowed Tysarczyk to score the 2-1 run, unearned, for the Aggies’ first lead of the game.
With Nebraska’s ITB runner on second, the Aggies allowed a second runner on base on a mental error that became a base hit. A hit-by-pitch loaded the bases before a fielder’s choice and an errant throw home tied the ballgame for the Huskers. Morgan turned a bases-loaded double play, however, and sent the game to the ninth inning in a 2-2 draw.
In the top of the ninth, freshman Reagan Boenker was the Aggies’ ITB runner at second. The rookie was picked off at second for the first out of the frame, and two more quick outs ended the half-inning with the game still tied.
A leadoff walk in the bottom of the ninth quickly put two on base for the Huskers with no outs. A base hit up the middle was all it took, and Nebraska won on a walk-off, 3-2.
Fox (3-3) allowed just one earned run through a full game against the 11th-ranked Huskers, giving up 10 hits and walking three while tossing three strikeouts. Nebraska’s Tatum Edwards (4-1) took the win with a three-hit effort through nine frames.
The Aggies end play at the Mary Nutter Classic Saturday with an 11 a.m. CT/9 a.m. PT game against Cal State Northridge. To learn more about Texas A&M softball, log on to AggieAthletics.com and follow @AggieSoftball on Twitter.
Sagermann Provides Power; Nunley, Cumbess Throw Gems in Kentucky Sweep
LEXINGTON, Ky. – Sophomore infielder Nikki Sagermann hit a three-run homer and a two-run double in game two, while senior pitcher Lauren Cumbess and sophomore pitcher Kelsey Nunley combined to throw 14 innings on the day with only one run scored as the No. 5/6 University of Kentucky softball team defeated Penn State, 5-0, and FAU, 7-1, in day one of the FAU Invitational at FAU Softball Stadium in Boca Raton, Fla.
Nunley was the star for Kentucky in its game one win vs. Penn State, throwing seven scoreless innings, allowing only two hits with four strikeouts. The native of Soddy Daisy, Tenn., moved to 5-0 on the year with the win. Cumbess gave Nunley the support she needed at the plate, going 2-for-3 with two RBI and a run scored. Senior Emily Gaines went 1-for-1 with a pinch-hit single, while outfielders Sylver Samuel, Darington Richardson and Emily Jolly each posted singles.
In UK’s game two win over FAU, Cumbess delievered a strong performance in the circle, throwing seven innings, allowing one run on five hits with a season-high nine strikeouts. The nine strikeouts for Cumbess were just one off her career best. The native of Normal, Ill., went 1-for-3 in the game with a double and run scored, while Sagermann was the star at the plate, going 2-for-2 with a three-run home runs – her first of the season – and a two-run opposite field double. Sagermann’s five RBI were just one off her career best for a game.
Sophomore Christian Stokes recorded a multiple-hit game, going 2-for-4 with a run scored, while junior catcher Griffin Joiner, who snapped a nine-game hitting streak in game one, went 1-for-4 with a double. Senior outfielder Ginny Carroll had a hit and two runs scored, while Samuel and Gaines also had hits.
Kentucky (12-0) continues the round-robin event with a doubleheader on Saturday starting with Kent State at 9 a.m. and No. 5/7 Michigan at 11 a.m. UK’s play in the event concludes Sunday with a 9 a.m. battle vs. Penn State. All times are Eastern. Live stats from every game will be available on UKathletics.com.
The wins continue Kentucky’s season-best start to a season at 12-0. The 12 consecutive wins also extend the longest winning streak in school history, shattering the previous school record of eight consecutive wins.
The Wildcats scored first vs. Penn State behind an unearned run in the first inning. Stokes started the inning with a leadoff walk, moving to second on a sacrifice bunt by Ansley Smith. After Joiner walked for the fifth consecutive time and a passed ball moved both runners into scoring position, Cumbess hit a line drive to leftfield to score Stokes from third to put UK up 1-0. Carroll flied out deep to centerfield to end the threat.
UK increased its lead to 2-0 in the third inning with another unearned run. Jolly started the inning with a walk, moving to second on the sacrifice bunt by Stokes, who was safe at first after the ball hit her and went into right field. The throwing error allowed Jolly to score with Stokes thrown out at second trying to advance. The Wildcats put two more runners on in the inning but a Carroll lineout ended the frame.
The Wildcats scored two more runs in the fifth inning to take a 4-0 lead. Joiner got the rally going with a walk and was pinch ran for by senior Sarah Frazer, who scored when Cumbess doubled to the wall in right. Cumbess moved to third on the throw home, which got away from the Penn State catcher and went into the UK dugout, allowing Cumbess to score and give UK the four-run lead.
Kentucky added another insurance run in the sixth inning when Jolly singled in Richardson to put UK up 5-0.
After FAU took an early lead in game two with a run in the first inning, UK grabbed four runs on four hits and two errors in the fifth inning. Stokes started the inning with a single down the leftfield, moving to second on a perfect sacrifice bunt by Ansley Smith. Joiner then flied out to deep centerfield, moving Stokes to third and eventually scoring Stokes when the throw got by the third baseman and went into the UK dugout. Cumbess kept the rally going with a double to right field and Carroll hit an infield single before Sagermann blasted her first home run of the season to give UK a 4-1 lead.
UK scored three more runs in the seventh inning to put the game away after a two-run double by Sagermann, who eventually scored when Richardson grounded into an error.
Alabama Softball Opens Bama Bash With Pair of Wins
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Alabama softball opened its weekend at the Easton Bama Bash with a pair of wins, defeating Virginia Tech, 8-0, in five innings before earning a comeback 8-3 victory over UCF in the nightcap.
Alabama (10-2) was strong on both sides of the ball, hitting .415 as a team while allowing just three runs, two earned, in the circle. Kallie Case, Haylie McCleney and Danielle Richard each earned four hits on the day, with Richard hitting three doubles and McCleney hitting her first career grand slam. With hits in both games, Richard extends her career-best hitting streak to 10 games while McCleney has reached base safely in every game so far this season.
The Tide limited Virginia Tech (6-3) and UCF (8-2) to a combined .143 average with just six hits.
Alabama continues its weekend with two games on Saturday, playing Virginia Tech at 1:30 p.m. CT and UCF at 4 p.m. CT.
Davis Strikes Out Career-High 13 as Auburn Wins Two
AUBURN, Ala. - Sophomore pitcher Lexi Davis struck out a career-high 13 batters against Samford Friday night to help the Auburn softball team earn its 11th win of the year, 3-0 over the Bulldogs, and open the Wilson/DeMarini Classic with two victories. The Tigers defeated Jacksonville State earlier in the day, 6-5 in nine innings, extending their winning streak to eight games.
For Davis, it was her second-straight appearance that she has thrown a career-high in strikeouts. She fanned 11 against Western Illinois last week in the Tiger Invitational and now has totaled 24 strikeouts in her last two starts.
"That's pretty darn good for Lexi," Auburn head coach Clint Myers said. "With no walks, she was in total command and threw a phenomenal ball game."
Runs were hard to come by on the opening day of the Wilson/DeMarini Classic, but Auburn was able to scratch across six runs on three hits in its first game with the Gamecocks and then three runs on five hits in game two with Samford. Sophomore Emily Carosone was the only Tiger player to have a multi-hit game on Friday as she tallied two hits against Jacksonville State and one against Samford.
"We just have to swing the bats," Myers said. "The pitching has been really good. Lexi came in and shut the door against Jacksonville State and up until the seventh inning, Marcy (Harper) had thrown a pretty good ball game. We just have to continue to get better and swing better."
Against Jacksonville State, Auburn was the first to get on the board after Carosone scored one of her two runs on a Kasey Cooper sacrifice fly. Cooper finished game one with two RBI. However, the Tigers wouldn't cross the plate again until the third inning.
The Orange and Blue plated four in the bottom half of the third, benefitting from three walks and two hit by pitches. Carosone led off the inning with her third double and then the Gamecocks let three-straight batters get on base without the ball being hit into play. Carosone's hit ended up being the only base hit of the inning as Tiffany Howard, Carosone, Morgan Estell and Cooper all scored via walk or hit by pitch. The Tigers led 5-0 and look to keep the cushion as the game entered the latter innings.
The Gamecocks answered back with a run in the fourth and fifth innings, getting a Taylor Sloan double to score Kalee Tabor in the fourth to make it 5-1. An inning later, Sara Borders hit her third homer of the season to left field, cutting the Auburn lead to 5-2.
Both teams recorded zeroes in the sixth inning, giving Auburn a three-run lead as it went into the top of the 7th. Auburn pitcher, Marcy Harper, retired the first two batters of the inning and looked well on her way to her sixth win of the year. Unfortunately, the Gamecocks got a double down the right field line by Ella Dennes and then reached Sloan on an error, scoring Dennes to make it 5-3. With a runner on, Borders returned to the batter's box and hit her second home run of the day to tie the game at five. The two-run home run forced Myers to make a pitching change and replace Harper with Davis. The righty struck out Tabor for the final out, but not before the damage was done.
As Auburn went to its second extra-inning game of the season, the Tigers and Gamecocks went three-up and three-down in both half innings to force a ninth inning. Jacksonville State, again, couldn't touch Davis as she mowed them down 1-2-3 to take the game to the bottom of the ninth.
With Howard placed on second via the international tiebreaker rules, Carosone dropped down a beautiful bunt, sacrificing herself to advance Howard to third with one out. In the next at-bat, Estell delivered with a 3-2 single to the shortstop, just deep enough to score Howard for the win. It was Estell's only RBI in the game as she finished with three walks.
Against Samford in game two, the Tigers were, once again, the team to score first. Two runs crossed the plate after sophomore Maria Mitchell laced an RBI single to right field, scoring Cooper and Estell to make it 2-0 Auburn after one. Mitchell started at the designated player position, her first start of the season. The two RBI give her four for the season.
With Davis dealing in the circle on the defensive side of the ball, Auburn still couldn't get much going with the bats. The Tigers did get one more big run from the bat of Cooper as she launched her third homer of the year to straight-away centerfield to push the Orange and Blue's lead to 3-0 in the third inning. However, it was the final run of the game as it was all the Tigers needed with Davis' pitching performance.
Auburn returns to the field Saturday as it will take on Jacksonville State for the second time this weekend. First pitch for the game is set for 3:30 p.m. The first game of day two of the Wilson/DeMarini Classic will feature Mississippi Valley State and Samford, starting at 11 a.m. at Jane B. Moore Field.
The Auburn games can be heard locally on WEGL 91.1 or online at AuburnTigers.com. Live video will also be available for the Auburn games and live stats will also be available on AuburnTigers.com throughout the weekend for all games.
All home games at Jane B. Moore Field this year will require a purchased ticket unless otherwise specified. All ticket information can be found here on AuburnTigers.com.
For more information on Auburn softball, visit AuburnTigers.com, follow the team on Twitter @AuburnTigersSB or follow them on Facebook at Facebook.com/AuburnSB.
Rebels Shut Out Bowling Green in Home Opener
OXFORD, Miss. – Ole Miss softball senior pitcher Shelby Jo Fenter threw 6.2 scoreless innings Friday and struck out seven, and the Rebels (7-6) defeated Bowling Green 2-0 in its home opener at the Ole Miss Softball Complex.
Playing on the first day of the annual Red and Blue Classic, Ole Miss engaged in a pitching duel with the visiting Falcons in which both teams had a combined six hits through the opening five innings of play.
“Shelby Jo threw a great game,” Ole Miss head coach Windy Thees said. “She really kept us in it. We made some great defensive plays, we hustled in the outfield and made some good throws. To throw a shutout on defense by our team and by Shelby Jo, and Courtney (Syrett) did a good job catching back there, I was really proud of that.
“We have to make a few more adjustments on offense, but the speed on our team helped us a little bit today in scoring those two runs. We just need to utilize that a little more.”
Fenter, who entered Friday evening’s game with the 14th best ERA in the Southeastern Conference, lowered her average on the year to 0.95. Her seven strikeouts against Bowling Green is just one shy of her season high of eight, which she has done twice already this season.
“She’s a calmer individual,” said Thees of Fenter. “Last year, she was so pumped and excited to get into every game, and she let that adrenaline get away from her. Now, she’s calmer, she knows what she wants to do and she’s more of a surgeon on the mound instead of someone who is trying to power everything by.”
Ole Miss faced perhaps its biggest threat in the second inning. Bowling Green loaded the bases in the inning with one out, but Fenter induced an infield popup followed by a strikeout swinging, and the Rebels got out of the jam unscathed.
Ole Miss scored two unearned runs in the bottom of the sixth to take its lead. With two outs away and the bases empty, freshman left fielder Miranda Strother hit a single and later stole second. Freshman catcher Courtney Syrett then reached on an error by the Falcons’ second baseman and advanced to third, scoring Strother from second base. Junior right fielder Jamie Morgan closed out the scoring with an RBI single that scored Syrett.
Bowling Green made things interesting in the seventh by putting two runners on base with two outs away. Thees then handed the ball off to sophomore Madi Osias, who got the final out to pop up first base.
On Saturday, the Rebels will play back-to-back games at 1:30 p.m. CT and 3:45 p.m. CT against Buffalo and Northern Colorado, respectively. Ole Miss will close out the tournament Sunday with games against Saint Louis (1:30 p.m.) and UT Martin (3:45 p.m.). The complete tournament schedule can be found at the Red and Blue Classic Tournament Central page.