LAWRENCEVILLE – The Georgia Gwinnett College softball team is headed back to the NAIA World Series following a 4-2 come-from-behind victory against the University of Rio Grande (Ohio) in Wednesday’s championship game of the Lawrenceville Bracket in the Opening Round at the Grizzly Softball Complex.
GGC (42-14) advances to the NAIA World Series for the second straight season and second time in program history. This year’s World Series begins on May 23 in Springfield, Mo.
“We played the three games this week with a lot of energy," GGC head coach Kat Ihlenburg said. "We made adjustments and trusted our process that we have practiced all season. That allowed us to come out victorious today."
Freshman Sydney Pelaez lined a RBI double to the left-center field gap that brought home sophomore Piper Wagner in the sixth inning with the eventual game-winning run. Later in the inning, sophomore Holly Janco added an insurance run with an infield single.
The top-seeded Grizzlies tied the game, 2-2, in the third inning. Junior Sydney Willhite hit a RBI single to score junior RaeQuinn Rossetti for the first tally. Senior Crystal Busbee would then score on a RBI ground out by senior Tori Robinson.
Rio Grande (36-16), the tournament’s No. 4 seed, had taken a 2-0 lead in the top of the second inning on consecutive base hits from Kayla Slutz and Cammy Hesson.
Senior Taylor Hansis picked up her 25th victory of the season, and third straight in the Lawrenceville Bracket, after registering six strikeouts in six innings. Wagner retired all three batters she faced in the seventh inning to record her second save of the tournament.