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Boiling Springs, N.C. - The Gardner-Webb softball team pounded out 21 hits and pushed across 11 runs in the doubleheader sweep of Campbell Friday afternoon at Varsity Field in Boiling Springs, N.C.  The Runnin' Bulldogs blanked the Fighting Camels 8-0 over five innings in game one and then used all seven innings to escape with a 3-2 win in game two.

The two victories pushes GWU to 17-20 overall and 4-5 in the Big South, while the losses drop Campbell to 19-20 overall and 4-4 in conference play.

 

Game 1: Gardner-Webb 8, Campbell 0

Gardner-Webb jumped out to an early 2-0 lead on a first inning two-run home run by freshman Savannah Burns and did not look back, defeating the Fighting Camels 8-0 in five innings in game one of the twin bill.

The Runnin' Bulldogs took an early lead in the top of the first, as Jordyn Arrowood singled to left field with one out.  The next GWU batter was Burns, who hit a line drive which stayed just inside the left field foul pole and barely cleared the fence to put the home team up 2-0 early. The home run was Burns' third of the season.

GWU broke the game open in the bottom of the second, as back-to-back singles by designated player Elizabeth Williams and outfielder Jane Savage put runners on first and second with no outs.  After a sacrifice bunt by outfielder Melinda Dulkowski moved both runners into scoring position, lead-off hitter Samantha Meenaghan hit a line drive to center field which rolled all the way to the fence, giving her a two-run triple and putting the home team in front at 4-0.

The home team would add another run in the inning by way of a Campbell wild pitch, pushing their lead to five at 5-0 after two innings of play.

Neither team would score over the next two innings, as GWU's Jessica Childers kept the Campbell offense quiet, holding them to only three hits over the first four innings of play.

After Campbell failed to score in the top of the fifth, the Runnin' Bulldogs put the game away in the bottom half, as Williams again led off with a single.  After a sacrifice bunt by Savage moved pitch runner Emily Bowman to second, Dulkowski would reach on a fielding error putting runners on first and third with one out.

Back-to-back walks to Meenaghan and pitch hitter Amanda Gomes forced in a run to put GWU on top 6-0 with the bases loaded.

Burns put the game away with a single up the middle to plate both Dulkowski and Meenaghan, as Gardner-Webb defeated the Camels 8-0 in five innings of play.

Childers (4-7) was dominant from start to finish, as she allowed only four hits and one walk, while striking out seven in the five inning win.

Campbell's Brittany Arnn (8-8) was handed the loss, as she gave up five runs on five hits and one walk over 1.1 innings of work.

Burns led the way for GWU offensively, as the freshman was 3-3 with a home run, four RBI and a run scored, while Meenaghan was 1-2 with a triple, two base-on-balls and two RBI.  Williams was 2-3 with two singles, while Arrowood was 1-3 with a run scored.

At the plate for Campbell, Kerstine Womack was 2-2, while both Taylor McGee and Ericka Nesbitt were 1-2 for the game.

 

Game 2: Gardner-Webb 3, Campbell 2

Gardner-Webb overcame a two-run deficit to escape with a 3-2 win over the Camels in game two.

Both teams loaded the bases in the first, yet failed to score, as Gardner-Webb used a strikeout and a line out to third with the bases loaded to get out of the jam, while in the bottom half of the inning, Campbell got back-to-back GWU hitters to pop out in the infield with the bases loaded to keep the score at 0-0 heading into the second inning of play.

After both teams went down in order 1-2-3 in the second, Campbell picked up the offense in the top of the third, as Nesbitt reached base on a GWU throwing error to lead off the inning. After advancing to third on a wild pitch, Campbell's Sarah Forgacs drew a walk and then stole second putting runners on second and third with no outs.

The Fighting Camels' Stephanie Jones then hit a deep sacrifice fly to center to plate Nesbitt and put the visitors up 1-0. With two outs, designated player Raven Lee then singled to left center to drive in Forgacs from second to put the Fighting Camels up two at 2-0.

The Runnin' Bulldogs' offense, which had just one hit over the next two innings, finally got hot in the bottom of the fifth, as Meenaghan and Arrowood ripped back-to-back singles up the middle and then advanced a base on a Campbell fielding error to put runners on second and third with two outs.

Again it would be Burns coming up big for the Runnin' Bulldogs, as the shortstop singled to short to drive in Meenaghan and cut the Campbell lead to one at 2-1.  Senior McKenzie Morenus would then single over the head of the third-baseman and down the left field line to score Arrowood and tie the score up at 2-2 through five innings.

GWU threatened to take the lead in the bottom of the sixth, as Gomes and Lindsea Hutchinson led off the inning with back-to-back infield hits. However, a ground ball and a double play on a pop up to short ended the Runnin' Bulldogs' scoring chance and left the game tied up at 2-2 heading into the final inning of play.

Campbell's Nesbitt hit a sharp ground ball through the right side with two outs in the top of the seventh and then abruptly stole second to put the go ahead run in scoring position.  However, the next Camel batter would fly out to right field in foul territory to end the top half of the inning.

Looking for their second win of the day, Gardner-Webb's Meenaghan led off the bottom of the seventh with a single to center field.  After Meenaghan stole second, the Runnin' Bulldogs loaded the bases with a walk by Arrowood and a fielder's choice by Burns.

With the bases loaded and no outs, Morenus popped up to short for the first out of the inning.  Redshirt-sophomore Morgan Baker then hit a ground ball to second, where the Campbell second-baseman made a great play and tagged Burns running to second for the second out of the inning.  However, rather than throwing the ball to first-base to complete the double play and end the inning, she threw the ball home trying to get the lead runner.  Meenaghan beat the throw to the plate and gave the Runnin' Bulldogs the 3-2 win.

The game-winning RBI was Baker's second of the season, both coming in the last two weeks.

GWU's Cindy Boomhower (6-5) earned the win in a relief effort, as the redshirt-senior held the Fighting Camels scoreless on only two hits and one walk, while striking out five in the final 4.2 innings of play.

Campbell's Olivia Scarborough (3-2) suffered the loss, as the righty gave up three runs on 10 hits and two walks, while striking out two in 6.2 innings of work.

At the plate, GWU's Burns was 2-4 with an RBI, while Meenaghan was 3-4 with two runs scored.  Morenus was 1-3 with an RBI, while Arrowood was 2-3 with a run scored.

Offensively for the Fighting Camels, Lee was 2-3 with an RBI, while Jones was 1-2 with a sacrifice fly.

Gardner-Webb (17-20, 4-5 Big South) and Campbell (19-20, 4-4 Big South) will play the third and final game of the three-game conference series tomorrow afternoon at 1 p.m. at Varsity Field in Boiling Springs, N.C.

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