College Softball Finals – Guilford 2-2, N.C. Wesleyan 9-1

GREENSBORO, N.C. – Laura Thompson’s sixth-inning sacrifice fly plated pinch-runner Kayli Blankenship with the go-ahead run in Guilford College’s 2-1 softball win over visiting North Carolina Wesleyan College Friday. The win salvaged a split of the twinbill after the Battling Bishops claimed a 9-2 opening-game win.

Guilford pitcher Courtney Lackey (6-2) overcame four walks and a hit batsman to keep the Bishops (12-8) off the scoreboard until the sixth inning. Katy Holt’s fourth-inning sacrifice fly yielded the game’s lone run until North Carolina Wesleyan equalized in the top of the sixth. Kaitlyn Checkan roped a two-out double to left-center that scored Chelsea Nixon, who reached on a single and took second on a wild pitch.

The Quakers (10-5) answered in the home sixth when Makayla Crawford reached on an infield single. She was replaced by Blankenship who moved to second on Anna Wolfe’s walk. Lackey singled to left, which loaded the bases. Thompson lifted a two-strike pitch in the air to right, which enabled Blankenship to slide home with the go-ahead run.

Makayla Carver replaced Lackey for the top of the seventh and yielded a leadoff single to Peyton Hyler, who was erased one batter later when shortstop Sarah Adams made a nice grab of Beth Braswell’s line drive and fired to first for the double play. Meredith Mize kept hope alive with a two-out single, but Carver got losing pitcher Shelby Godwin to ground out to end the game and collect her first save of the year.

Crawford and Lackey both had two hits and Carver added one for the Quakers’ five hits in the game.

Nixon and Hyler had two hits apiece for the Bishops, who stranded 11 runners on base.

Logan Lowery fanned eight and gave up just two hits in North Carolina Wesleyan’s opening game win. One of the hits was Crawford’s two-run homer in the first that tied the score at 2-2. Hyler’s RBI single broke the tie in the second and a fourth-inning Kayla Molivas RBI doubled the Bishops’ advantage.

The score remained 4-2 until the Bishops broke the game open with a five-run sixth inning. Godwin’s three-run double was the inning’s key blast.

Godwin and Mize both doubled among their two hits and had and three RBI for North Carolina Wesleyan. Hyler had a game-high three hits. Molivas and Sarah Bowyer both had two hits in the Bishops’ 14-hit effort.

Guilford starter Julie Gough (2-1) pitched into the third inning and gave up four runs on seven hits and three walks. Abigayle Rowell threw two scoreless frames before the Bishops touched her for five runs in the sixth. Haley Green threw two shutout innings for the Quakers.

Coach Dennis Shores’ club visits Roanoke College Wednesday (3/21) at 5 in an Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) doubleheader at the Moyer Sports Complex.