Softball Finals – Guilford 2-9, Virginia Wesleyan 0-4

GREENSBORO, N.C. – Guilford College’s softball team closed the regular season Sunday with a sweep of visiting Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) rival Virginia Wesleyan College. The Quakers (25-13, 10-8 ODAC) have won 12 of their last 14 games as they look forward to this week’s ODAC Tournament in Salem, Va.

Jessica Burcham (Lexington, N.C./South Davidson) fanned 11 in her school record-setting 13th win and sixth shutout of the season, a 2-0 Guilford win in the opener. Julie Langseth’s two-run single highlighted an eight-run second inning, which powered the Quakers to a 9-4 nightcap victory.

The opener was a pitchers’ duel between Burcham and the Marlins’ MacKenzie Creech (14-4). Guilford got on the board in the bottom on the fifth when the Quakers’ top hitter, Cynthia Hayes, doubled home Langseth with two outs. Langseth reached base on an error and took second on another Marlins’ miscue, which put her in scoring position.

Guilford added an insurance run in a sixth inning aided by two more Marlins’ errors. Ami Hutcherson, who had two of the Quakers’ three hits in the game, doubled to right center, took third on an error and scored on another error on a ball hit by Langseth.

Virginia Wesleyan (25-9, 10-8 ODAC) threatened in the top of the seventh when Kelly Keys reached on an error and Leanna Prather singled to bring the tying run to the plate. Burcham battled back and fanned Tori Higginbotham, her 11th for the game, and got Chelsea Henline and Jaclyn Quinn to fly out for the win. Prather had two of the Marlins’ four hits.

Guilford opened a commanding lead in game two thanks to a five-hit, eight-run second inning that saw 13 batters and five different Quakers record an RBI. Sarah Cutright’s sacrifice fly in the third scored Hayes and opened a 9-0 lead, which put the Quakers in position to end the game after four-and-a-half innings.

The Marlins rallied, however, and finally got to Guilford starter Ashley Boteler (8-3) in the fifth inning. Season Dailey blasted her team-leading seventh homer of the season, a three-run shot over the left-field fence, which made it a 9-4 game and forced the full seven innings.

Jessica Rowland finished the game with two scoreless frames for Guilford. Courtney Kozar had two hits and scored her 41st run of the season, which ties the school record. Teammates Kimberly Keys and Hutcherson also had two hits.

Dailey and Higginbotham both had two hits for the Marlins. Christina Crawford (11-5) took the loss in the nightcap.

The Quakers open ODAC Tournament play this Thursday (4/21). The tournament pairings will be announced Monday after the conclusion of the regular season.

Guilford 2, Virginia Wesleyan 0 (Apr 17, 2011 at Greensboro, NC) (Game 1)
Virginia Wesleyan... 000 000 0 -  0  4  5      (25-8, 10-7 ODAC)
Guilford............ 000 011 X -  2  3  2      (24-13, 9-8 ODAC)
Pitchers: Virginia Wesleyan - MacKenzie Creech and . Guilford - Jessica Burcham and .
Win-Jessica Burcham(13-5)  Loss-MacKenzie Creech(14-4)  T-1:35  A-105
Weather: sunny, breezy, 65
Game notes:
Old Dominion Athletic Conference game
Game: GCS-37

Guilford 9, Virginia Wesleyan 4 (Apr 17, 2011 at Greensboro, NC) (Game 2)
Virginia Wesleyan... 000 040 0 -  4  6  1      (25-9, 10-8 ODAC)
Guilford............ 081 000 X -  9 11  1      (25-13, 10-8 ODAC)
Pitchers: Virginia Wesleyan - Christina Crawford and . Guilford - Ashley Boteler;
Jessica Rowland(6) and .
Win-Ashley Boteler(8-3)  Loss-Christina Crawford(11-5)  T-1:34  A-105
HR VWC - Season Dailey.
Weather: Sunny, Breezy, 65
Game notes:
Old Dominion Athletic Conference game
Game: GCS-38