Walk-off homer ends Patriot softball season

Walk-off homer ends Patriot softball season

ST. AUGUSTINE, FL – Freshman designated player Taylor Campbell blasted a one-out solo home run in the bottom of the 11th inning to give 14th-ranked and second-seeded Georgia College a walk-off 2-1 win over seventh-seeded Francis Marion University, late Saturday night (April 20) at the 2013 Peach Belt Conference Softball Tournament.

Georgia College (35-14) advances to Sunday's semifinals, while the Patriots end their season with a 25-26 mark.  It was the second time this season the Bobcats have beaten FMU on an extra-inning walk-off homer.  Abi LeRoy homered in the eighth inning for the lone run in a 1-0 Georgia College victory back on March 3 in Milledgeville.

Francis Marion junior left-hander Taylor Luff (14-14) was the hard-luck loser on Saturday.  She scattered nine hits and walked three.  She struck out five batters to extend her single-season school strikeout record to 251. She was also 1-for-5 at the plate in the lead-off position.

Junior second baseman Kristie Hanewinckel led FMU at the plate with a 3-for-4 effort, while senior third baseman Tristan Faile was 2-for-2 with the team's only RBI.  Junior designated player Danielle Payne was 2-for-4.

Faile plated the FMU tally in the top of the sixth when her suicide squeeze bunt brought home Hanewinckel from third.  Hanewinckel had led off the frame with a single to left field and advanced to third on a pair of wild pitches.

Georgia College answered with a run of its own in the bottom of the inning when Kelsea Martin drilled a two-out RBI single to left center.

FMU went on to get its lead-off batter on base in each of the next four frames (seventh through the 10th innings), but could not push across a go-ahead run.  At the same time, the Patriot defense came up big.  In each of the seventh and eighth innings, freshman left field Cat Zalud threw home to senior catcher Olivia Ferguson to nail the potential winning run at the plate.  Shortstop Lindsey Brown assisted with a relay throw on the eighth-inning play.

Payne lofted a one-out single in the top of the 11th inning, but was stranded at first.  After LeRoy grounded out in the bottom of the eleventh, Campbell hit an 0-1 pitch over the left field fence.

Georgia College's Dani Gallucci (14-5) was the winning pitcher.  She also surrendered nine hits, while walking two and fanning nine.

FMU stranded 11 runners on base, including six in scoring position.


#14 Georgia College 2, Francis Marion 1 (Apr 20, 2013 at St. Augustine, Fla.)
Francis Marion...... 000 001 000 00 -  1  9  1      (25-26)
Georgia College..... 000 001 000 01 -  2  9  0      (35-14)
Pitchers: Francis Marion - Taylor Luff and Olivia Ferguson. Georgia College - Gallucci and Najafi.
Win-Gallucci(14-5)  Loss-Taylor Luff(14-14)  T-2:30  A-66
HR GC - Campbell (2).
Weather: 61; cloudy; w:14 mph