Radford, Va. - Gardner-Webb's Amanda Gomes and McKenzie Morenus each blasted a home run on Saturday afternoon, as the Runnin' Bulldogs split a Big South doubleheader with the Radford Highlanders at the RU Softball Field in Radford, Va. GWU won the first game 4-1, yet suffered a 4-1 loss in game two to earn the split.
The doubleheader split puts GWU at 25-25 overall and 11-9 in conference play, while Radford moves to 29-18 and 13-4 in the Big South.
Game 1: GWU 4, Radford 1
Gardner-Webb's Gomes three-run home run in the top of the fourth erased a 1-0 deficit, as the Runnin' Bulldogs held on for the 4-1 win in game one of the twin bill.
After both teams got off to a slow start, combining for one hit and two total base runners over the first two and half innings of play, the Highlanders took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the third on an RBI single up the middle by senior outfielder Hannah Ojeda.
The Radford lead did not last for long, as the Runnin' Bulldogs' offense found their groove in the top of the fourth. Second-baseman Samantha Meenaghan and third-baseman Jordyn Arrowood led off the inning with a bunt single and an error by the right fielder to put runners on first and second with no outs. Designated player Gomes stayed hot at the plate, as she blasted a three-run home run to put the Runnin' Bulldogs in front 3-1. The home run was Gomes' fourth of the season.
GWU starter Jessica Childers allowed only one hit and one base runner over Radford's final three at bats, while Morenus added an insurance run by way of an RBI single in the top of the sixth to help lead the visitors to a 4-1 win.
Childers (8-11) earned the complete game win, as she allowed one unearned run on five hits, one walk and five strikeouts.
Reigning Big South Pitcher of the Week Jackie Jenkins (13-8) was handed the loss, as the righty gave up four runs, two of which were earned, on five hits, while striking out four over seven innings of work.
Offensively, Gomes was 1-for-3 with a home run and three RBI, while Morenus was 1-for-3 with an RBI and Meenaghan was 1-for-3 with two runs scored.
For Radford at the plate, Ojeda was 2-for-3 with an RBI, while Morgan Eye (1-for-2, run), Jackie Warr (1-for-2) and Jessie Hutchens (1-for-3) for the game.
Game 2: Radford 4, GWU 1
The Runnin' Bulldogs were haunted by three errors and a lack of offense, as Gardner-Webb fell to the Highlanders 4-1 in game two of the doubleheader.
Radford took advantage of a GWU fielding error in the bottom of the first, as senior Nichole Beall reached base safely on the error and then stole second. After being bumped up to third on a sacrifice bunt, third-baseman Vicki Madden singled to right field to score Beall and put the home team up 1-0 through one inning of play.
Gardner-Webb's first hit of the game came in the top of the third, as Meenaghan recorded a two-out bunt single, yet was stranded on first to keep the game at 1-0 in favor of the Highlanders.
Looking to add to their lead, Radford's Madden and Micalah Sacre posted back-to-singles with one out in the bottom of the third. After Gardner-Webb starting pitcher Alyssa Gutierrez was pulled for redshirt-senior Cindy Boomhower, the veteran right-hander overcame a GWU error to get a fielder's choice and a strikeout to keep the Highlanders off the scoreboard and the score at 1-0.
The Runnin' Bulldogs knotted the score up in the top of the fourth, as Morenus homered to center field to put the score at 1-1. The deep home run was Morenus' fifth of the season, a team-high.
The Highlanders refused to go down without a fight, as Radford pushed across two runs in the bottom of the fourth on a Beall double, a Ojeda RBI single and a Gardner-Webb throwing error, pushing the home team back in front at 3-1 through four innings of play.
Looking to get the two runs back, GWU put two runners on base by way of a base-on-balls and a Radford fielding error, yet failed to push across a run leaving the score at 3-1 in favor of the Highlanders.
Radford added a run in the sixth, as the Highlanders defeated the Runnin' Bulldogs 4-1 in game two of the twin bill.
GWU's Boomhower (10-6) picked up the loss, as she allowed three runs, two of which were earned, on six hits, while striking out four over 3.2 innings of relief work.
The win went to Radford's Sacre (8-6), as she gave up one run on two hits, three walks and eight strikeouts in five innings of work, while Emily Norton (2) earned the save.
Meenaghan (1-for-3) and Morenus (1-for-3, HR) had the lone two hits for GWU, as the Runnin' Bulldogs had more errors (3) than hits for the game.
Radford's Madden was 2-for-4 with an RBI, while Ojeda was 2-for-3 with an RBI to lead the Highlanders.
Gardner-Webb and Radford will play the third and final game of the conference weekend series tomorrow afternoon at 1 p.m. in Radford, Va.