by Mark Jagord, sports information assistant
MILLEDGEVILLE, Ga. – The Georgia College softball team (4-2) got two big third innings in sweeping Albany State University (0-2), 4-2 and 5-1 Friday at the Peeler Complex. Two freshmen pitchers were solid in relief in both wins.
In the third inning of the first game, the Bobcats took advantage of a pair of Golden Ram errors to score a pair of runs and go up 2-0. Senior Whitney Okvist (Kennesaw, Ga.) and junior Mikayla Sparks (Macon, Ga.) both recorded singles and scored for the Bobcats.
Albany State's Chaconna Marks hit a two-run homer to tie the game in the top of the fourth, but Georgia College responded with a pair of runs of its own in the bottom of the same inning to restore its two-run lead. This time, freshman Danielle Bernstein (Cumming, Ga.) and Sparks singled and scored, with the latter having the best day at the plate, including two of the Bobcats' four hits in the first game and three total on the afternoon.
Freshman pitcher Carly Lewis (Seymour, Tenn.) relieved sophomore starter Marisa Boyette (Marietta, Ga.) and got five strikeouts while giving up two hits in four innings. That earned Lewis her first win of the season (1-1).
In the third inning of the second game, the Bobcats got a single, double and triple to score a pair of runs and take their first lead, adding single runs in the fourth and sixth innings to win 5-1.
The second game started well for the Golden Rams. Leadoff batter Dominique Bryant doubled and took advantage of a Bobcat error for a 1-0 Albany State lead. Georgia College countered with a run of its own in the bottom of the first. After Okvist and Bernstein were walked, the former stole a pair of bases and the latter one before both advanced on a balk that scored Okvist to knot the game.
Bernstein and sophomore Abi LeRoy (Dublin, Ga.) hit a single and triple, respectively, and freshman Faith Flanders (Dublin, Ga.) doubled in a big third inning. Bernstein and LeRoy scored and LeRoy and Flanders each recorded a RBI.
Junior Frankie Walls (Dahlonega, Ga.) got an RBI each in the fourth and sixth innings and both times scored sophomore Kristen Brooks (Brunswick, Ga.). Walls brought Brooks home in the fourth on a sacrifice bunt, and in the sixth off a double.
Flanders improved to 2-0 in relief of LeRoy, allowing six hits in almost five innings. She was named Peach Belt Conference (PBC) Freshman of the Week last week after debuting with a shutout.
Georgia College takes to the road for its next eight games, starting with a pair of bouts at the University of West Georgia Wednesday, Feb. 12 slated to start at 4 p.m.
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 @GCBobcats on Twitter and Facebook for up-to-the-minute reports, and visit GCBobcats.PhotoReflect.com to purchase photo prints from home athletic contests.