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Wilmington, N.C. - The Runnin' Bulldog softball team went 1-1 on Friday at the Seahawk Classic with their 3-1 win giving head coach Tom Cole his 300th career victory as the leader of the Gardner-Webb softball program.

The Runnin' Bulldogs bounced back from a 5-1 loss to Kansas in the 12 p.m. game to defeat host UNC Wilmington 3-1 in their afternoon contest.

The split pushes GWU to 5-5 overall on the year and 3-3 over their last six games.

Game 1: Kansas 5, Gardner-Webb 1

The Runnin' Bulldogs were haunted by one bad inning, as the Kansas Jayhawks scored four runs in the top of the fourth en route to a 5-1 win over Gardner-Webb in the Runnin' Bulldogs first game of two on Friday afternoon at the Seahawk Classic.

Kansas looked to score in the top of the first, as the Jayhawks loaded the bases by way of a single and two base-on-balls only to have Gardner-Webb sophomore Jessica Childers get the next batter to fly out to center to end the inning.

In the bottom half of the first, Gardner-Webb's Samantha Meenaghan led off the inning with a single and was moved up to second on a sacrifice bunt by centerfielder Melinda Dulkowski.  After a GWU strikeout, Meenaghan moved up to third on a wild pitch.  Freshman Savannah Burns drew a two-out walk to put runners on first and third with two outs, however, the next GWU batter struck out swinging stranding two base runners in the inning.

Each team had a player reach base safely in the second, yet again neither team could come away with a run, keeping the score at 0-0 heading into the third.

After both teams went down in order in the third, the Jayhawks got on the scoreboard first in the top of the fourth, pulling out to a 4-0 lead on an RBI double by catcher Lexi Bryant and a two-run scoring single to left field by shortstop Mariah Montgomery.

Looking to stay in the game, the Runnin' Bulldogs Burns led off the bottom of the fourth with a single to left.  However, a GWU base-running mistake and back-to-back outs ended the threat, leaving GWU behind by four after four innings of play.

Kansas added a run in the top of the fifth on two hits and a sacrifice bunt to take a 5-0 lead over the Runnin' Bulldogs.

GWU finally got on the scoreboard in the bottom of the fifth, as redshirt-sophomore Morgan Baker blasted a home run to center, her first of the season, cutting the Jayhawks' lead back to four at 5-1.

The Runnin' Bulldogs put a runner on base in both the sixth and the seventh, yet failed to drive them in as the Jayhawks held on for the 5-1 win.

Childers (1-3) suffered the loss, as the starter gave up three runs on four hits, two of which were doubles, and three walks, while striking out three over 3.1 innings of play.

Kansas' Morgan Druhan (2-0) earned the complete game win, as she allowed one run on five hits, walking two and striking out six in the seven inning contest.

At the plate for Gardner-Webb, Baker was 1-3 with a home run, while Meenaghan, Lindsea Hutchinson and Jane Savage were all 1-3 for the game.           

For Kansas, Bryant was 2-2 with a double, two RBIs and a run scored, while Rosie Hull was 2-3 with double, a walk and two runs scored.  Montgomery was 1-3 with two RBIs, while Maggie Hull was 1-3 with an RBI.


Game 2: Gardner-Webb 3, UNC Wilmington 1

In GWU's second game of the day, the Runnin' Bulldogs used a two-run single in the top of the sixth and shutdown the Seahawk offense to come away with the 3-1 win and help head coach Tom Cole reach a career milestone at Gardner-Webb.

Looking to jump on top early, the Runnin' Bulldogs threatened in the top of the first as freshman Kellie Beres reached base on a throwing error.  After fellow freshman Amanda Gomes was hit by a pitch to runners on first and second with two outs, Burns singled.  However, Beres was thrown out at home on the play and the next GWU batter struck out to end the threat and keep the Runnin' Bulldogs off the scoreboard.

GWU continued to put the pressure on the Seahawks, as Hutchinson led off the top of the second with a base-on-balls.  After pitch runner Emily Bowman was moved up to second on a sacrifice bunt by fellow sophomore Elizabeth Williams, junior shortstop Jordyn Arrowood singled to put runners on first and third with one out.

Arrowood then stole second to put two runners in scoring position for Dulkowski. The redshirt-junior outfielder then laid down a bunt, which plated Bowman from third to put the Runnin' Bulldogs in front at 1-0.

Wilmington put a runner on safely in the bottom of the second, yet failed to score as GWU held on to the lead heading into the top of the third inning. 

In the third, Beres led off the inning with a double yet was thrown out in a rundown on the next play as Gomes reached base safely on the fielder's choice. Burns then singled to put runners on first and second with one out.  After Baker drew a base-on-balls to load the bases, the Runnin' Bulldogs failed to drive in a run, as the next two batters grounded into a fielder's choice and struck out to end the inning.

UNC Wilmington knotted the score up at 1-1 in the bottom of the fourth, as back-to-back singles by Daniela Torres and Jennifer Ladd drove in Lauryn Buckworth, who led off the two-out rally with a walk.

The Seahawks threatened to take the lead in the bottom of the fifth, as two GWU errors allowed Kelsey Eddinger and Laura Sykes to reach base safely with two outs.  However, GWU pitcher Alyssa Gutierrez got the next UNCW batter to ground out to third in a fielder's choice to end the inning and keep the score tied at 1-1.

Hutchinson led off the top of the sixth with a single up the middle and was replaced on first-base by pitch runner Savage. After the next Gardner-Webb hitter popped out to first-base in foul territory, Arrowood reached base on a Seahawk throwing error to put runners on first and second with one out.

Dulkowski again laid down another beautiful sacrifice bunt to put runners on second and third with two outs and the top of the order due up.  Meenaghan then singled through the right side to drive in both Savage and Arrowood and put the Runnin' Bulldogs back on top 3-1.

Gardner-Webb allowed only one Seahawk base-runner over the next two innings to hold on for the 3-1 win over the host team UNC Wilmington.

Gutierrez (2-1) recorded her second win of the season, as she allowed only one run on four hits, while striking out two over seven innings of work.

For Wilmington, Amanda Davenport (1-3) suffered the loss, allowing three runs, one of which was earned on seven hits and three walks.

Offensively, Burns was 2-4, while Meenaghan was 1-4 with two RBIs.  Dulkowski was 1-1 with an RBI and two sacrifice bunts.

Torres was 2-3 for the Seahawks, while Ladd was 1-3 with an RBI.

Gardner-Webb (5-5) will turn around to take on Fairfield tomorrow morning at 10 a.m. to kick off day two at the Seahawk Classic. The Runnin' Bulldogs will then either play at 2:30 p.m. or at 4:45 p.m. depending on their seeding.


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