By Ashley Roberts, ASU Sports
DAHLONEGA, GA – Augusta State defeated Wingate 8-0 in six innings in the first round of the 2009 NCAA Softball Championships on Friday afternoon in Dahlonega, Ga.
The Lady Jaguars improved to 33-19 on the season, while the Bulldogs dropped to 33-15-1 overall.
ASU jumped out on top in bottom of the first inning when Angii Verbeelen and Alysha Krier both were hit by a pitch to reach base. Kacee Camp then had a sac bunt to move Verbeelen and Krier. Verbeelen score on a squeeze from Kristin Jones, while Krier scored on a single to leftfield by Jessica Thornton to take a 2-0 lead.
The Lady Jags kept it going in the bottom of the second with Emily Corish walking, Kayla Adams reaching on a fielding error by the pitcher and Verbeelen was hit by a pitch to reach base. A squeeze from Krier scored pinch runner Leann Barber, while Camp added another run scoring Adams, taking a 4-0 lead.
In the bottom of the third, the Lady Jags booked two more runs on an error from the leftfielder, scoring Sara DeMuth and Kayla Hicks to make the score 6-0.
The score remained 6-0 until the sixth inning when ASU plated two more runs with a RBI single from Hicks scoring Jones. Pinch hitter Alyssa Pingree hit a single up the middle to score DeMuth giving the Lady Jags an 8-0 lead and the victory over Wingate.
ASU had seven hits on the afternoon with Hicks and Jones each having two hits and an RBI. Krier, Thornton and Pingree each had a hit.
Wingate had three hits on the day with Hallie Pettigrew going 1-for-1 with a walk and a stolen base. Debra Grijalva and LaRonda McClain each had a safety.
For ASU, Corish (7-2) earned the win and allowed only three hits with a strikeout in 4.0 innings of work. Kimberly Kennedy relieved Corish in the fifth and gave up no hits in 2.0 innings of work.
Augusta State Head Coach Melissa Mullins on pitchers performance: “Emily did a great job. She always does. She is great at keeping the batters off there timing. Kimberly just came in did what she has done all season, which is close the game. We pulled Emily a little quicker than we would have after she got hit by that one ball. They both did a great job. That’s kind of a duo. That’s what they do.”
For Wingate, Allison Smith (13-6) was tagged with the loss and only lasted 0.2 innings allowing two runs on one hit. Brittany Blankenship relieved Smith in the first, and gave up six runs on six hits and booked a strikeout.
Wingate Head Coach Michelle Caddigan on losing today’s game: “It was painful. I mean it really was. I have not ever seen my team perform that way. Not to take anything away from Augusta State because they are certainly a quality team. When you put somebody every inning of that game on base either hit by pitch or walks and that really set the tone. They (Augusta State) did a great job taking advantage of those mistakes. We had errors today that again I have never seen made before, but it is what it is and we can’t complain about it at this point.”
Augusta State advances in the winner’s bracket for a Saturday afternoon game between the winner of North Georgia and Queens University of Charlotte. Wingate University falls to the loser’s bracket to play the loser of game two of the tournament.