by Mark Jagord, sports information assistant
YOUNG HARRIS, Ga. – Georgia College senior Whitney Okvist (Kennesaw, Ga.) set a Peach Belt Conference (PBC) career record for stolen bases as the Bobcat softball team (20-6, 1-1 PBC) split a doubleheader to start conference play at Young Harris College (11-16, 1-1 PBC) Friday at E.D. Rivers Field. Georgia College won 6-3 in extra innings of game one, and had their seven-game winning streak snapped in a 6-5 loss of game two.
Okvist got the first hit of the game in the third inning and proceeded to break the PBC-career record for stolen bases with her 145th swipe, passing Danielle Peters' 144 during her career at UNC Pembroke. Sophomore Abi LeRoy's (Dublin, Ga.) single later in the same inning would score Okvist and give the Bobcats a 1-0 lead.
In the first game, neither team could score multiple runs in any single inning as both teams found themselves tied three separate times before heading into extra innings at 3-3. A Mountain Lion error in the ninth inning scored two Bobcat runs and Georgia College would add a third and hold off Young Harris for a 6-3 win in the opening game.
The Bobcats would take a 3-2 lead in the seventh with their most productive inning. It wasn't until Georgia College's fourth hit of that inning that they were finally able to produce a run. Junior Kristen Humphries (Columbus, Ga.) would bring home LeRoy, but the inning would end with two runners left on base. The Mountain Lions were able to tie the game in the bottom of the seventh to send the game to extra innings.
LeRoy led the way for the Bobcats going 3-for-4 at the plate, scoring a pair of runs and RBI. Okvist went 3-for-5 scoring a pair of runs and added a pair of stolen bags to bring her to 146 for her career. Campbell had a pair of hits, two RBI and scored a run; while freshman Danielle Bernstein (Cumming Ga.) also added a pair of hits. Freshman Carly Lewis (Seymour, Tenn.) (8-3) registered the win in 2 1/3 scoreless innings while not allowing any hits.
In the second game, Young Harris would score in each of the first four innings to build a 6-4 lead and hang on for a 6-5 final. The Bobcats fell on some misfortune as they out-hit, but could not out-score the Mountain Lions.
Sophomore Taylor Campbell (Warner Robins, Ga.) went 3-for-4 with two RBI and a run to lead Georgia College. Okvist finished with a pair of hits, two RBI and stole yet another bag to bring the new record to 147. Humphries would also add a pair of hits and a RBI, while LeRoy and freshman Faith Flanders (Dublin, Ga.) would each add a run and hit. Lewis (8-4) took the loss as the Bobcats went through four pitchers.
Georgia College will return to non-conference play with a doubleheader at the University of West Georgia Thursday, March 20 starting 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.