College Softball Finals – Guilford 8–4, Averett 5–4

GREENSBORO, N.C. – Guilford College’s Darby Kozan tallied six hits over the Saturday afternoon doubleheader as the Quakers claimed a sweep over Averett University. The Quakers took the first contest, 8-4, and the nightcap, 5-4.

Courtney Lackey rallied with bases loaded and two out top open the first contest in the top of the first inning to strike out Andrea Grant to strand three Cougars on base. After a two-out single gave Averett a 1-0 lead in the top of the second, Guilford (7-1) rallied for a five-run inning where the Quakers posted three extra-base hits. Makayla Carver sparked the rally with a two-run double to right-center field. Darby Kozan followed Carver’s double with a RBI-triple. Shelby Helms completed the rally with a RBI-single as the top-half of the batting order drove in all five runs with two outs.

Averett (3-3) countered in the fifth inning as a dropped fly produced a run thanks to a sacrifice fly from Kaitlyn Aherron that produced the first out of the inning. The Cougars loaded the bases with two outs, but Lackey induced a pop fly to the middle of the infield to end the inning. Averett posted two runs with no outs in the top of the sixth frame as the Cougars posted three hits with two doubles in the first three at-bats. Carver came into the game to pitch and produced three-straight outs to end the inning.

The Quakers added insurance runs in the bottom of the sixth stanza as the Quakers posted a three-run rally as Kozan produced her fourth hit of the day to drive in the first run. Caroline Barnette capped the rally with a two-RBI double.

Averett led off the top of the seventh inning with a single, but Carver produced a strike out and sat down the next three batters to secure the win.

Langston sat down Averett in consecutive order to start game two as Makyla Crawford gave Langston run support with a solo home run in the second inning to put the Quakers on the board. Langston produced two innings in the first three facing the minimum and keeping Averett off the bases while giving up just two hits. The Quakers posted a two-run rally in the fourth frame as two errors on the same play brought home one run and Taylor Boyd connected on a RBI-single to extend the lead, 3-0. Guilford added to their lead in the fifth inning with a two-run rally in an inning with two hits and a wild pitch, which brought home the inning’s first run. A Barnette sacrifice fly capped the rally to grew the lead to six.

Averett reallied with two outs in the top of the sixth inning to post a run in an inning where the Cougars connected on two hits. The Cougars staged a rally with one-out in the top of the seventh inning as Jessica Long connected on a home run to left-center field to cut the lead to one. With runners on first and second with one and Danielle Hunt coming into pitch, Averett advanced runners into scoring position on the second out. Hunt then produced a line out to herself to end the rally and secure the win.

Kozan accumulated a triple and two RBI on her six-hit afternoon, accounting for one of two multi-hit efforts in game two. Crawford hit two-for-three in game two for other game two multi-hit effort. Carver totaled two RBI and one stolen base at the plate. Barnette led the Quakers with three RBI over the afternoon.

Long led Averett with a four-for-eight afternoon with two RBI along with one of two multi-hit efforts in game one. Samantha Hall tallied three hits over both games.

Lackey (5-0) claimed the game one win, striking out two and walking five in a five-inning effort. Carver collected her first save of the season throwing the final two innings and giving up only one hit while holding off the tying runner at third base in the sixth inning when she arrived. Langston (1-0) threw six and one-third innings where she struck out three and walked two. Hunt claimed her first save of the season, throwing the final two-thirds innings to prevent the tying run from coming across home plate.

Aherron (2-1) took the loss in a five-inning effort where she pitched into the sixth inning, giving up five of the eight runs, with one run unearned. Taylor Bailey (1-2) took the game two loss in a complete-game effort where she fanned one.

The Quakers continue their three-doubleheader home stand Wednesday, hosting William Peace University for a 1 p.m. doubleheader.