Your NJCAA #19 Bulldog Softball team played 5 games in Clearwater FL last weekend. Coach Bunn's team went 3-2 playing a very difficult first weekend schedule. The following is a recap of the games.
GAME #1 GMC vs. #6 Northwest Florida
Game 1 started off as a pitcher's duel as neither team scored through the first two innings. Madason Messer gave up 2 runs in the bottom of the third and the score remained there until the top of the sixth when the Bulldogs got on the board with 4 runs. The inning started off with freshman Brittany Lowe getting a single. Sophomores Katy Stamey and Ansley Wilbanks followed with singles, which loaded the bases. Freshman Carly Rigsbee then hit a sacrifice fly to plate the first run of the game for the Bulldogs. After a walk to Danielle Downs, Kiley Rediger came up with GMC's big hit of the game with a bases clearing double making the score 4-2 GMC. Unfortunately, the lead would not hold, as FSW scored 10 runs in the bottom of the sixth to take the game 12-4.
Game #2 GMC vs. Eastern Florida State College
Game 2 started off a little differently as GMC got on the board in the first inning. Katy Stamey started the home half of the inning with a walk and proceeded to steal second and third base and scored on an error by the EFC third baseman. In the top of the second EFC scored on an error by the Bulldogs. The Bulldogs came right back with a run of their own in the bottom of the inning. Jordan Crews reached on an error and scored on single by Jenni McDaniel. EFC scored the tying run in the top of the third on a lead-off triple and an error. With the score 2-2 in the bottom of the fourth, GMC put the game away with 3 runs in the inning, one in the fifth, and two more in the sixth. EFC scored two more in the 5th but that was the end of their scoring. Final score GMC 8 – EFC 4. Danielle Downs got the win in the circle and the offensive stars were Freshman Natalie Johnson 4-4; Carly Rigsbee 2-4, 2 doubles, 4 RBI; Katy Stamey 2-3, 2 SB, 3 Runs scored.
Game #3 GMC vs #3 Florida Southwestern
In maybe the best game of the weekend the Bulldogs went up against #3 FSW and JUCO 2016 Player of the Year, pitcher Courtney Gettins. After allowing 2 unearned runs in the first inning, Danielle Downs settled in and matched Gettins pitch for pitch. The Bulldogs scored 2 in the 3rd and 2 in the bottom of the 6th to take a 4-2 lead into the seventh. Again, GMC was unable to hold the lead giving up a bases loaded triple in the top of the 7th and could not recover in the bottom of the inning. While taking the loss, there was a confidence built in that game that your Bulldogs can play with anyone. Danielle Downs took the loss but out-performed Gettins, giving up only 4 hits to Gettins 8. Though there were offensive contributions throughout the lineup, Jordan Crews was 2-3 with 2 RBI to lead the way.
Game #4 GMC vs. St. Pete
Game 4 was a see saw battle against St. Pete with the game having 4 lead changes and 3 ties. With the game tied after 7, the game went to extra innings. GMC held St. Pete scoreless in their half of the inning and in the bottom of the 8th Brittany Lowe made a beautiful backdoor slide around the catcher to score the winning run. Final Score GMC 6 – St. Pete 5 Madason Messer collected her first win of the season. Offensively, there were several outstanding performances. Katy Stamey 3-5, 2 RBI; Carly Rigby 2-4, Danielle Downs 2-4, 2 doubles, 3 RBI; Jordan Crews 2-4; Natalie Johnson 2-4.
Game #5 GMC vs. Santa Fe
In the 3rd game of the day on Saturday Mallory Parson made her collegiate debut in the circle. After a sitting around a while waiting as the schedule fell behind, the GMC bats came out cold. Falling behind 3-0 against a pitcher that was looking really good, the bats finally came to life. Brittany Lowe started off the bottom of the 5th with a single that ignited a 5 run inning. After batting around in the 5th, Brittany started another 5 run inning with a lead-off walk in the 6th. Final Score GMC 10 – Santa Fe 3. Parson won her first collegiate game with plenty of offensive help. Ansley Wilbanks 3-3, 2 Runs; Danielle Downs 3-4, 5 RBI, Triple; Jordan Crews 2-4, 3 RBI. Sunday's games were rained out causing a little disappointment as GMC was scheduled to play #1 Central Florida.
According to Coach Bunn, "We played 5 good opponents. We were in every ballgame. As I told the players, you learn in January, you win in April.
The Bulldogs are scheduled to compete at home this coming Thursday, February 2nd with a 3pm first pitch against Piedmont College JV at Couch Field. Admission is Free for all to attend, so make plans to come out and support your GMC Softball team.