The Georgia Military College Bulldog Softball team traveled to Clearwater, FL, this past weekend to open their season at the Adidas JUCO Kickoff Classic. They scored 23 runs on the weekend and picked up three wins. Coach Ashley Bunn commented, "it was nice to be back on the field competing against other teams and enjoying the atmosphere that surrounds softball."
The Bulldogs began the weekend with a 11-5 win against Tallahassee Community College. Freshman pitcher Jana Shellhorse picked up her first collegiate win by going five innings and allowing only one earned run while striking out six batters. Freshman Layla Barron came in to finish the game and only allowed two hits in 2 innings of work. The Bulldogs were active at the plate with 13 hits, led by Sophomore Jessica Owens 3.
The Bulldogs kept the ball rolling in game two, beating St. Petersburg College 5-2 behind a stellar pitching performance from Sophomore Beth Eddins. Eddins went the full seven innings, allowing two runs on seven hits while striking out five batters. Designated hitter, Sophomore Kenzie Graves lead the Bulldogs going perfect at the plate with two hits in 2 at-bats and a sacrifice fly. The Bulldogs stole four bases against the Titan's catcher, with Freshman Callie Faircloth having 2 of those 4.
In the final game of the day, the Bulldogs fought hard but could not find their groove at the plate and dropped an 11-0 decision to Eastern Florida. Layla Barron got the start against the Titans and pitched five innings allowing only 2 earned runs with the other nine resulting from some untimely errors made by the Bulldogs defense. Eastern Florida's pitcher slowed down GMC's bats, as the Bulldogs only had two hits.
Day 2, the Bulldogs squared off against #15 Seminole State College. It was back and forth affair between the Bulldogs and Raiders, each team scoring a single run in both the 4th and 5th innings. SSC picked up the go-ahead run in the bottom of the 6th inning after a questionable non-call on what looked to be strike three. GMC had several chances to score throughout the game, but a couple of untimely strikeouts and solid defensive plays by SSC kept them off the board. Shellhorse pitched lights out, throwing a complete game, striking out four batters, and allowing just six hits. Freshman third baseman Mackenzie Kilpatrick had two hits and 1 RBI to lead the team.
GMC bounced back in its last game of the weekend, beating State College of Florida-Manatee 5-2. Freshman second baseman Makensey Sapp hit a 2-run homer, her first collegiate home run, and the Bulldogs' first of the season. Owens also added two hits and an RBI. Eddins picked up her 2nd win of the season, striking out five and allowing no runs on two hits in 6 innings. Barron came in to finish the game and earned her first save as she turned away a late SCF-Manatee charge.
Head Coach Bunn commented, "Overall, I was proud of the way that we competed. We could have easily walked away with a 4 and 1 record, but we learned a lot about ourselves as a team. We learned that we are tough, are going to play hard, we have some depth in key areas and people who were able to come off the bench and contribute, and we learned the things that we need to work on moving forward."
The Bulldogs will be back in action this coming weekend at the Dothan Invitational hosted by Chipola College; games will be on central standard time.
- Beth Eddins – 2 wins, 1.08 ERA, 10 strikeouts
- Jessica Owens- .467 Batting avg., 7 hits, 1 triple, 2 doubles, 4 RBI
- Caroline Hughes- .455 Batting avg., 5 hits, 2 stolen bases, 2 RBI
- Kenzie Graves- .417 Batting avg., 5 hits, 3 RBI
Pictured below: Mackenzie Kilpatrick, Jessica Owen and Brianna Painter