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Rock Hill, S.C. - The Gardner-Webb softball team bounced back from a 1-0 loss in game one to plate five runs over the final two innings of play in game two to pick up a 5-2 come from behind win and earn a split with the Winthrop Lady Eagles in Big South Conference play on Saturday afternoon at Terry Field in Rock Hill, S.C.

The split pushes Gardner-Webb to 19-23 overall and 5-7 in conference play, while Winthrop moves to 15-29 overall and 3-11 in the Big South with the split.


Game 1: Winthrop 1, GWU 0

The Runnin' Bulldogs stranded 10 runners on base in the contest, as the Lady Eagles scored late in the contest to down Gardner-Webb 1-0 in game one of the twin bill.

Gardner-Webb took advantage of two Winthrop errors over the first two innings to put a runner in scoring position in both the first and the second inning, yet failed to get a hit to drive in the go ahead run,  leaving the score at 0-0 after two innings of play.

The Runnin' Bulldogs kept the game scoreless, as starter Jessica Childers pitched out around a single and a walk in the first and another single in the third to keep the Lady Eagles of the scoreboard through the first three innings of play.

The Runnin' Bulldogs would get their first hit of the game in the top of the fourth, a single to second by senior catcher McKenzie Morenus, yet strand pitch runner Taylar Pridgen at second base, increasing their total to five runners left on base over their first four at bats.

A one-out double to left center off the bat of Morgan Baker in the top of the sixth went to no avail, as the Runnin' Bulldogs stranded two more runners, numbers seven and eight for the game, to keep the score at a 0-0 tie through five and a half innings played.

In the bottom of the sixth, the Lady Eagles would push across a run on a bases loaded two-out single off the bat of Natalie Becker to take a 1-0 lead into the final inning of play.

Refusing to quit, GWU's Jordyn Arrowood and Savannah Burns put together back-to-back singles with two outs in the top of the seventh, to put the tying and go ahead runs on base. Morenus would then hit a soft line drive up the middle where second-baseman Kristy Noble made a great play on the ball and tagged second base all in one motion to end the game with the Lady Eagles on top 1-0.

Childers (5-10) suffered the loss, as the sophomore gave up one unearned run on five hits and two walks, while striking out two in six innings of work.

Becker (9-12) earned the win in a relief effort, as she gave up two hits and struck out two over the final 1.2 innings of play.  Chelsey Schoenfeldt, who started the game for the Lady Eagles, allowed only four hits and struck out one over the first 5.1 innings of the contest.

GWU had six different players record one hit apiece, as Baker (1-for-1, double, walk), Arrowood (1-for-2), Burns (1-for-4), Morenus (1-for-4) and Samantha Meenaghan (1-for-4) all tallied a hit in the contest.

For Winthrop, the Lady Eagles had five different players record one hit in the game, as Becker was 1-1 with an RBI single which proved to be the difference in the game.


Game 2: GWU 5, Winthrop 2

Gardner-Webb pushed across five runs over their final two at bats to pick up a 5-2 come from behind win over the Lady Eagles in game two of the twin tilt.

Winthrop jumped out to an early lead, as first-baseman Kathryn Eberlin lined a triple down the right field line to clear the bases and drive in two in the bottom of the second to put the Lady Eagles in front at 2-0 and drive Gardner-Webb starting pitcher Alyssa Gutierrez out of the contest.

Redshirt-senior hurler Cindy Boomhower, who entered the game with one out and a runner on third, got the next two Winthrop batters to strike out looking and fly out to center to end the inning and keep the score at 2-0 after two innings of play.

Looking to get those runs back in the top of the third, the first two batters for the Runnin' Bulldogs reached base safely on back-to-back walks.  However, a fielder's choice and back-to-back strikeouts ended the inning for GWU without a run, as the Lady Eagles got out of the jam and held on to a slight 2-0 lead.

Again Gardner-Webb put a runner in scoring position in the top of the fourth, as Burns reached base on a Winthrop fielding error to lead off the inning.  After being moved up to second on a sacrifice bunt, the next two Runnin' Bulldog hitters struck out swinging and grounded out to the shortstop to end the inning.

The GWU offense finally broke through in the top of the sixth, as Meenaghan led off the inning with an infield single to third. After being moved up to second on a sacrifice bunt by Arrowood, Burns drew a walk to put runners on first and second with one out. A wild pitch would allow both runners to move up into scoring position, in which Morenus would then ground out to third to drive in Meenaghan from third and cut the Winthrop lead to one at 2-1 heading into the bottom of the sixth.

The bats awoke in the top of the seventh, as Gardner-Webb scored four runs highlighted by an RBI single by Meenaghan, a deep fly ball by pitch hitter Elizabeth Williams which was dropped by the Lady Eagles outfielder and allowed two runs to score and an RBI double by Burns to put the visitors in front for the first time in the game at 5-2.

Winthrop put two runners on by way of back-to-back one-out singles in the bottom of the seventh, however, Boomhower shut the door on the Lady Eagles, getting the top of the order to pop out to short and ground out to short to end the game and secure the 5-2 come from behind win.

Boomhower (7-5) earned the win in relief work, as the righty held the Lady Eagles scoreless on four hits and two strikeouts over the final 5.2 innings of play.

Becker (9-13) suffered the loss, as she gave up five runs, two of which were earned, on six hits and four walks, while striking out six over seven innings of work.

At the plate, Meenaghan was 2-for-4 with an RBI and two runs scored.  Burns was 1-for-3 with a double and an RBI, while Morenus was 1-for-3 with an RBI single.

For Winthrop, Eberlin was 2-for-3 with a triple and two RBI, while Megan Chapman and McKenzi Corn were both 1-for-4 for the game.

The two teams will wrap up the three-game conference series tomorrow afternoon with a 2 p.m. start time at Terry Field in Rock Hill, S.C.


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