by Katie Parker, sports information graduate assistant
MILLEDGEVILLE, Ga. - The No. 20 Georgia College & State University softball team (11-8, 3-1 PBC) split No. 4 Barry University (12-5, 0-0 SSC) losing the opener 1-0 and rebounding for a 2-1 win in today's (March 4) doubleheader pitching battle.
Two of the best pitchers in the nati on went head to head today in the circle at the Peeler Complex. Coming in with a 0.77 ERA, Barry's Amber Jack took game one against Bobcat ace Mandy Chandler (Covington, Ga.). Jack allowed one hit, no runs and no walks while striking out 14 batters for a complete game effort. For Georgia College, Chandler tossed all seven innings allowing three hits, one run and three walks while also fanning 14 Buccaneers.
At bat, Barry's Shyla Rider went 1-for-4 with one RBI scoring Grace Collins on a single in the fifth, the only run for game one. Senior Lindsey Swanson (Kennesaw, Ga.) spoiled the Buccaneer no hitter going 1-for-3 for the Bobcats.
In game two, Chandler stepped back onto the rubber wanting revenge. The senior righty threw an additional seven innings, giving up six hits, one run and four walks, while whiffing 10 batters. For Barry, Brianna Smith and Jack split the pitching duties. Smith tossed the first three innings with one hit, one run, six walks and two strikeouts. Jack threw for 3.1 innings, giving up four hits, one run and one walk, while sitting down four Bobcat hitters. Jack picked up the 2-1 loss falling to 7-4 for the season while Chandler improved to 10-4.
Georgia College got on the board early in game two when Kayla Smith (Lexington, S.C.) scored on a double off the rightfield fence by Jessica Solomon (Douglasville, Ga.) in the bottom of the second inning. Barry answered back in the top of the sixth, when Grace Collins singled, sending the runner on second home, tying things up at one.
Not wanting to play extra innings, the Bobcat bats woke up in the bottom of the seventh inning. Freshman leftfielder Stephanie Lezcano (Columbus, Ga.) and junior second baseman Allison Schwimer (Cumming, Ga.) singled back-to-back to start the seventh. One out later, freshman catcher Anna Parker (Columbus, Ga.) stepped up to the plate. Parker doubled to the rightfield fence, sending classmate and high school teammate Lezcano home for the winning run.
Today's win was the first for the Bobcats over Barry. The Buccaneers now lead the all-time series 3-1.
The Bobcats are back in action this weekend, as they travel to Carrollton, Ga. to face five teams at the Wolves Invitational, hosted by the University of West Georgia. Play starts with Florida Southern College Friday, March 6 at 9 a.m.
Visit www.GCSUBobcats.com to nominate your favorite former Bobcats and Colonials to the GCSU Athletics Hall of Fame. The GCSU Department of Athletics sponsors 10 varsity athletic programs at the NCAA Division II level. As a Division II program, GCSU prides itself on balancing the life of the student-athlete, evidenced by the Bobcats' multiple appearances in post-season competition as well as documented academic success and community-service involvement.