The #19 NJCAA GMC JC Softball team headed to Marianna FL to participate in the Florida Public Utilities Classic hosted by Chipola College over this past weekend. Scheduled for five very competitive games, the GMC team was looking to improve on their 7-2 record. While things didn't start as planned, overall the weekend was a success with the Bulldogs going 4- 1 and sit at 11-3 on the young season. Here is a recap of the games.
Game #1 GMC vs. #8 Salt Lake Community College: The game started as a see saw affair with the teams swapping runs through the first 4 innings. With the score 3-3 after 4, GMC stopped scoring and Salt Lake did not. Final Score Salt Lake 6 – GMC 3. Madason Messer took the loss. Leading the offense was Ansley Wilbanks going 4-4 with a double. Natalie Johnson also collected 2 hits.
Game #2 GMC vs. Jeff Davis Community College: Defensively the Bulldogs started off game 2 badly allowing 5 runs in the first 2 innings. Offensively, however, they were able to overcome the slow defensive start by scoring 2 runs in the first, 2 runs in the second, and 4 runs in the fifth to win the game 8-5. Danielle Downs picked up her 3rd win of the year on the rubber. Jenni McDaniel and Natalie Johnson had 2 hits each in a game where 7 of the 9 starters collected at least 1 hit.
Game #3 GMC vs. Central Alabama Community College: In their third game of the day, everything was clicking for the Bulldogs as they won the game with a final score of 13-2. Once again, Natalie Johnson led the way offensively picking up 3 hits and 4 RBI. Wilbanks had 2 hits and scored 4 runs. Eight of the nine starters had hits along with 2 hits off of the bench which were critical in ending the game. Mallory Parson got her 2nd win of the year in the circle.
Game #4 GMC vs. Snead State College: The game started at 8:00 in the morning and both teams looked it. Too many errors lead to a high scoring 8-5 win for the Bulldogs. Madason Messer got her 4th win of the year. Katy Stamey had 3 hits and scored 3 runs, Wilbanks had 2 hits and scored 3 runs, and Johnson continued her torrid weekend with3 more hits and 5 RBI. Jordan Crews also contributed 2 hits while Danielle Downs and Carly Rigsbee got 1 hit each.
Game #5 GMC vs. Wallace Community College-Hanceville: For GMC, game 5 started like every coach's fantasy start. Stamey led off the bottom of the first with a bunt single. Wilbanks followed with another bunt single and Downs was hit by a pitch. With the bases loaded, hot hitting Johnson came to the plate and delivered a 2 run single. Crews followed that with a 2 run double and Rigsbee followed that with her first collegiate home run, a 2 run blast to right center. Six runs before the first out. That was all that Danielle Downs would need as she recovered from a slow first inning to shut down the Hanceville crew for the remainder of the game. Final Score GMC 8 – Hanceville 1. Downs picked up her 4th win of the season. Wilbanks and Downs collected 2 hits each with Downs getting her 2nd Home Run of the year. Stamey, Johnson , Crews, Rigsbee, and Parson also had hits in the game.
Natalie Johnson had a monster weekend, hitting .611 with 11 hits and 12 RBI. The Bulldogs scored 42 runs in the 5 games. According to Coach Bunn, "We are excited to come out of Florida with the 4 wins but the coaching staff and players realize that there are things that we need to clean up before our conference schedule begins."
The Bulldogs have one more week of out of conference games, playing USC Salkahatchee and Spartanburg Methodist on the road before the conference schedule starts on Feb 21 vs. West Georgia Tech.