by Trevor Kuss, sports information assistant
MILLEDGEVILLE, Ga. – A pair of pitching duels secured the Georgia College softball team (25-11, 9-3 PBC) wins No. 24 and 25 of the year as they took on the UNC Pembroke Lady Braves (14-18, 1-5 PBC) Saturday at the Peeler Complex. The Bobcats were led by Dani Gallucci (Orlando, Fla.) in game one as they won 2-1 and Marisa Boyette (Marietta, Ga.) in game two as the Bobcats came back to win 4-3.
The Bobcat offense gave Gallucci all the runs she would need in the bottom of the first, as Kelsea Martin (Dacula, Ga.) singled home Kristen Brooks (Brunswick, Ga.) followed by a Kristen Humphries (Columbus, Ga.) single to bring in Martin.
Gallucci retired UNC Pembroke in order in the first and second innings, allowing one hit in the third and then retiring the Lady Braves in order in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings. The Braves scored one run in the top of the seventh on two hits before Gallucci retired the final batter.
The game took a mere 80 minutes to complete as Gallucci and Pembroke pitchers Natalie Klemann and Katy Austin all worked quickly. The pitchers relied on their defenses, as only two strikeouts were recorded in the game. Brooks and Natalie Bellantoni (Oviedo, Fla.) provided excellent defense on the left side of the infield as they each recorded five assists.
Gallucci improved to 8-4 on the year and dropped her ERA to 1.07, second in the Peach Belt Conference (PBC).
Boyette took the ball to start game two, but the Lady Braves would get to her early. Pembroke pushed a run across in the top of the first as Taylor Cloninger scored from third on a single up the middle.
They added another run in the third inning when Karlee Wilson came into score on a wild pitch. Wilson was back at in the sixth inning as she hit her first home run of the year.
The Bobcats came to bat in the bottom of the sixth down 3-0. Georgia College sent eight batters to the plate, scoring four runs on four hits. Taylor Campbell (Warner Robbins, Ga.) started the inning off with a double and a Brooks two-run double would cap the scoring, as Bellantoni came in for the eventual winning run.
Boyette took home her 12th win of the year, third in the PBC, while also striking out eight batters in the game, bringing her season total to 90, seventh in the PBC.
"I think we're getting into the heart of our conference play," said head coach Jamie Grodecki when asked about the current seven game winning streak. "I think the wins we've picked up will help us a lot as we move forward."
The Bobcats enter one of their tougher stretches of the season, facing two top-10 teams the next two times they take the field. They'll return to the Peeler Complex Thursday, March 21 at 5 p.m. for a doubleheader against No. 9 University of North Georgia and then hit the road to take on No. 4 Armstrong.
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