HICKORY, N.C. – The Georgia College softball team (37-17) returned to the field for their second game Saturday, May 11, this time taking on the host team of Lenoir-Rhyne University (37-15). It was the second time the two teams faced off in as many days. The Bobcats would take a lead early, but fall short in the end, 4-3.
After a rain delay of more than three hours the game started. Despite the delay the Bobcat faithful quickly filled the stands. The Bobcats got on the board first, scoring twice in the bottom of the third and against in the fourth, but the Bears would push runs across in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings to take the lead and advance to the NCAA Southeast Subregional Championship game.
The Bobcats finish the season with the fourth most wins in school history, finishing five wins behind the 2002-03 season, when the team went 42-9 and reached the Championship game in the College World Series.
"I'm really proud of our girls," said head coach Jamie Grodecki. "They had a great season which I think set the tone and will carry over into the coming years as we continue to grow."
The Bobcats were powered by two different winning streaks of eight games during the 2012-13 season and finished the year on a 27-8 streak, dating back to April 24 and going through the game against the Bears.
Lead by Peach Belt Conference (PBC) Coach of the Year Grodecki, the Bobcats put three on the All-PBC Teams. Senior Dani Gallucci (Orlando, Fla.), junior Whitney Okvist (Kennesaw, Ga.) earned First-Team honors and freshman Abi LeRoy (Dublin, Ga.) being placed on the Second-Team. Okvist also earned National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) All-Region honors, earning a spot on the Second-Team.
"It's a really good group of girls and a great program," said Gallucci. "It feels really good to be a part of the senior class to have come in and help put the program back on the track of success that it had in the early 2000's."
The Bobcats will lose seniors Natalie Bellantoni (Oviedo, Fla.), Michl'le Hull (Stone Mountain, Ga.), Kelsea Martin (Dacula, Ga.) and Gallucci but return the remaining 15 players on the roster, in addition to adding an incoming freshman class of seven.
"I think our team is in good shape moving forward," said Okvist. "It'll be difficult to fill the shoes of our seniors, but we have a lot of talented underclassmen continuing to improve and grow. We set the bar now and we just need to carry that into next season."
The Georgia College Department of Athletics, two-time winners of the PBC Commissioner's Cup, sponsors 11 varsity athletic programs at the NCAA Division II level. As a Division II program, Bobcat Athletics prides itself on balancing the life of the student-athlete, evidenced by the teams' multiple appearances in post-season competition as well as documented academic success and community-service involvement. Sign up at www.twitter.com/BobcatSports and www.facebook.com/gcbobcats for up-to-the-minute reports, and visit www.GCBobcats.com for more information, and to nominate your favorite former Bobcats and Colonials to the GC Athletics Hall of Fame.