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GGC softball team splits Friday doubleheader

LAWRENCEVILLE — The Georgia Gwinnett College softball team split a doubleheader against Montreat (N.C.) at the Grizzly Softball Complex on Friday. After dropping a one-run game to start the evening, the Grizzlies piled on for a five-inning, run-rule contest in the second game.

In Game 1, Cassidy Littlefield led off the scoring with a solo home run over the fence in right centerfield to put the Grizzlies (20-6-1) on the board in the first. Heaven Hinton then led off the second inning with a triple and scored on a sacrifice fly off the bat of Heather Kilar as GGC built a 2-0 lead.

Starting pitcher Ashley Beyke (10-5) suffered the loss after allowing all five Montreat runs on seven hits, but also struck out six batters in 4.1 innings pitched. Bailey Land tossed a complete game to earn the victory for the Cavaliers.

Montreat (11-22) pushed a run across in the third inning with an RBI ground ball after loading the bases with a single and two walks. The Cavilers then took a three-run lead by scoring four runs on six hits in the top of the fifth inning. Beyke gave way to reliever Kayla Byrom in the inning.

Byrom only gave up a hit and no runs in 2.2 innings out of the bullpen to keep the contest close.

In the sixth inning, Georgia Gwinnett scored two runs on a pair of hits to pull within a run. Alycia Fields hit a leadoff single and Kilar reached on an error. Pinch runner Carrie Ann Bullard scored on a single by Haley Thompson, while Kilar came home on a sacrifice bunt by Marlee Morales.

The Grizzlies got a runner to third base in the bottom of the seventh inning, but were unable to push across the tying score.

In the nightcap, Hinton had three RBIs in going 3-for-3, including a two-run homer in the fifth inning to force the run rule victory, as the Grizzlies took the second game of the doubleheader over Montreat.

Byrom (10-1) pitched a complete game, picking up eight strikeouts in 5.0 innings tossed. She allowed only one run by allowing four hits and no walks. Byrom set down seven in a row at one point, including four consecutive punchouts.

After Montreat struck for a run in the top of the first, Georgia Gwinnett answered with a pair of runs on a hit and three walks. For the Grizzlies in the inning, Littlefield reached on an error, stole second and scored on an RBI single by Hinton. Walks to Kilar and Thompson loaded the bases and a walk to Savanna Berkhiser pushed across the second run.

The Grizzlies added two more runs to their lead on two hits and a Cavalier error in the third. GGC loaded the bases on two singles and a walk. Hinton scored on a throwing error by the Cavalier pitcher and Kilar came home on a sacrifice fly by Berkhiser.

Brittany Bruns hit a leadoff double in the fourth inning and scored on a wild pitch.

GGC exploded for five runs with two outs in the bottom of the fifth inning to seal the victory in run rule fashion. With two on, Littlefield reached on a two-base error, allowing Ashleigh Simmons and Morales to score. Ingram hit an RBI single before Hinton belted a walk-off home run off the scoreboard in left field.

The Grizzlies improved to 8-4 on their home field.

Inclement weather has altered GGC’s series with Birmingham-Southern, as the teams will now play on Sunday at 2 p.m. in a doubleheader in Lawrenceville.