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Byrom, Palazzo combine for first GGC no-hitter

Junior Kayla Byrom and freshman Chelsi Palazzo combined for the first no-hitter in Georgia Gwinnett softball history as the Grizzlies won their 30th game of the year in the first half of Thursday’s doubleheader sweep of Voorhees in Lawrenceville.

Byrom struck out eight of the nine batters she faced before Palazzo racked up four strikeouts of her own over the final two innings as the Grizzlies rolled to a 26-0 win. A single walk was the Tigers’ only baserunner in the game.

In Game 2, the Grizzly bats belted 20 hits to cruise to a 30-2 win.

Georgia Gwinnett improved to 31-7-1 overall with the sweep.

Senior Heather Kilar drove in seven runs over the two games on six hits while Heaven Hinton scored nine runs on the day.

Cassidy Littlefield extended a 12-game hitting streak with a 5-for-8 day with six RBIs and six runs scored.

Game 1: GGC 26, Voorhees 0 (5 innings)

With Byrom and Palazzo shutting down the Tigers in the circle, a 12-run second inning powered the Grizzlies to the lopsided run-rule victory.

After a leadoff groundout, Byrom struck out the next eight batters she faced to begin the no-hit effort.

“My screwball was working really well today,” said Byrom after the game. “The screwball-curveball combination kept them off balance.”

Palazzo entered in the fourth inning and struck out four with one walk, keeping the Tigers out of the hit column over the final two frames.

The 12 total strikeouts are a new single-game team record as Byrom ran her record to an impressive 17-1 on the year.

Littlefield, Kilar and Alycia Fields each had three hits in the game as the trio combined for nine RBIs.

Hinton, Halley Ingram, and Marlee Morales each scored four times as GGC scored three in the first, 12 in the second, five in the third and six in the fourth.

Game 2: GGC 30, Voorhees 2 (5 innings)

Ashley Beyke (14-6) led off the strong effort in the circle this time with five strikeouts over three innings of work. Palazzo and Kilar combined in relief as GGC did not issue a walk and picked up nine strikeouts.

At the plate, six different Grizzlies had a three-RBI game, led by Hinton’s 4-for-5 effort with five runs scored. Mary Burk and Ashleigh Simmons scored four times each as GGC eclipsed its single-game scoring record — set earlier in the day — with the 30 runs in Game 2.

The Tigers started the scoring in the game with an RBI double in the top of the first inning, but GGC answered with six runs in the bottom of the frame.

The Grizzlies busted it wide open with a 21-run second inning on 13 hits.

Two runs came across in the third and one more in the fourth, while Voorhees added its final run in the fifth inning.

Every Grizzly that got an at-bat drove in at least two runs in the run-rule win. GGC improved to 15-5 on its home field this year.

Littlefield is now batting .460 on the year. The junior’s 12-game hitting streak includes 10 multi-hit games and 28 runs batted in.

Georgia Gwinnett now hits the road for its next six games, playing doubleheaders at Milligan, Virginia Intermont and Emmanuel over the next five days.