Softball Loses Opening SAC Doubleheader to Wingate


SALISBURY, NC -- Wingate claimed a sweep of a doubleheader over host Catawba in South Atlantic Conference softball action on Sunday afternoon at Whitely Field.  The Bulldogs won by the scores of 3-1 in eight innings and 5-3, getting key homers from Heather Winchester (Waxhaw, NC) and Courtney Wagner (Myrtle Beach, SC).  Wingate improved to 16-10 overall and 2-0 in the SAC, while the Catawba Indians fell to 16-15 and 0-2.

Winchester’s dinger came in the eighth inning of the opener to give the Bulldogs their 3-1 victory.  Gina Ager (Columbia, MD) was placed on second to start the extra frame and Winchester led off with the two-run shot. 

Catawba had grabbed the early lead when Allie Marshall (Pleasant Garden, NC/SW Guilford HS) singled to left and Ryann Baker (Rockwell, NC/E. Rowan HS) scored on an overthrow to the plate in the first inning.  Wingate had left the bases loaded in the fifth and sixth innings, but after Wagner reached on an error to start the seventh, Emily Chavis (Berkeley Lake, GA) doubled the tying run home with one out.

Catawba used another Wingate error to lead 1-0 in the nightcap after an inning.  Baker drew a leadoff walk and scored on a muffed throw to first on a grounder by Kathryn Geouge (Canton, NC/Pisgah HS).  Wagner gave Wingate the lead with a two-run homer in the third and Winchester doubled home a run in the fourth to put the Bulldogs up 3-1.

The Lady Indians cut the margin to a single run on a double by Geouge in the fifth, but Wagner singled home a run in the seventh and Chavis plated another insurance run on a groundout.  Catawba struck for a run in the seventh after an error, but failed on three attempts with the tying run at the plate.

Wagner had two hits and three RBI in the nightcap.  Brittany Blankenship (Midlothian, VA) allowed six hits and struck out seven in winning the opener.  She surrendered just the one unearned run in the first.  Meredith Harris (Kittrell, NC) tossed the complete game in the nightcap and scattered five hits with six strikeouts.  Only one of the three runs she allowed was earned.

Baker had two hits for Catawba in the opener and added a hit and two runs scored in game two.  Marshall had two hits in the nightcap after collected one hit in the opener.  Cassie Markham (New Port Richey, FL/Mitchell HS) had a hit in each game.

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