Wilmington, N.C. -
Gardner-Webb senior catcher McKenzie Morenus highlighted a six-run sixth with a
three-run home run to help lead the Runnin' Bulldogs to a 6-5 come from behind
win over the UNC Wilmington Seahawks on Sunday afternoon in the final game of
the Seahawk Classic in Wilmington, N.C.
The win pushes GWU to 6-7 overall on the year and 2-3 at the
Seahawk Classic for the weekend.
UNC Wilmington jumped on the Runnin' Bulldogs early in the
top of the first, as centerfielder Kelsey Eddinger led-off the game with a
walk. After a pop out and an
Ashley Shingleton single put runners on first and second with one out,
Gardner-Webb starting pitcher Jessica Childers got the next batter to ground
into a fielder's choice for the second out.
However, second baseman Daniela Torres then ripped a two-out
double to score Shingleton and put the Seahawks in front early at 1-0.
The Runnin' Bulldogs got a single in each of the first three
innings, yet could not sustain an offensive rally and trailed the Seahawks 1-0
after three innings of play.
Again, GWU was haunted by one bad inning, as in the top of
the fourth the Seahawks totaled three runs on three hits and two walks,
highlighted by a two-run single by Shingleton followed by an RBI single by shortstop
Lauryn Buckworth, putting the host team in front by four at 4-0.
Gardner-Webb again put a runner on base safely in both the
bottom half of the fourth, by way of a base-on-balls, and in the fifth on a
Seahawk fielding error, yet failed to drive the runners in leaving the score at
4-0 in favor of the Seahawks.
In the bottom of the sixth the Runnin' Bulldog offense
finally broke through, as sophomore Samantha Meenaghan led-off the inning with
a bunt single and then advanced to second on a wild pitch. After freshman
Kellie Beres walked and the next two GWU batters struck out swimming, fellow
freshman Amanda Gomes drew a base-on-balls to load the bases with two outs.
Redshirt-sophomore Morgan Baker came through in the clutch,
knocking a single to drive in both Meenaghan and Beres to put the Runnin'
Bulldogs on the scoreboard and cut the Wilmington lead to two at 4-2.
Morenus then stepped to the plate and blasted a three-run
home run to clear the bases and put GWU in front for the first time all game at
Junior shortstop Jordyn Arrowood followed with a single
through the right side and then promptly stole second to get into scoring
position with two outs for redshirt-junior outfielder Melinda Dulkowski who
singled to plate Arrowood and put the Runnin' Bulldogs in front by two at 6-4
heading into the final inning of play.
Wilmington threatened to tie the game up in the top of the
seventh, as left fielder Katie Houmard lined a one-out double down the left
field line then scored on back-to-back GWU fielding errors to put the score at
6-5 in favor of the Runnin' Bulldogs.
With runners on first and second with two outs, Gardner-Webb
pitcher Cindy Boomhower got the next Seahawk batter to pop out to Meenaghan at
second base who then turned a double play by getting out the runner on second
to end the game with the Runnin' Bulldogs on top 6-5.
GWU's Boomhower (2-1) picked up the win in relief work, as
she held the Seahawks to one unearned run on four hits and three walks, while
striking out one over the final 3.2 innings of play.
For Wilmington, pitcher Casey Rowland (0-5) suffered the
loss, as she gave up six runs on eight hits and three walks, while striking out
six GWU batters over six innings of action.
Offensively, Morenus led the way for the Runnin' Bulldogs as
she was 1-3 with the three-run home run, while Baker was 2-3 with two RBI. Dulkowski
was 1-3 with an RBI, while Meenaghan was 2-4 with a run scored.
The Seahawks, who left 12 runners on base for the game, were
led by Shingleton, who was 3-4 with two RBI and a run scored, and Houmard, who
was 2-2 with a double and two runs scored.
Gardner-Webb (6-7) will remain on the road for their next
contest, as the Runnin' Bulldogs will head to Athens, Ga. to take on the No. 13
nationally ranked Georgia Bulldogs at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, February 29th.