HARRISONBURG, Va., April 23, 2011 – Georgia State hit four home runs and scored multiple runs in five different innings to sweep a Colonial Athletic Association doubleheader over the James Madison softball team at Veterans Memorial Park on Saturday. GSU one game one 8-0 before completing the sweep with an 11-2 win in game two.
The Panthers extended their CAA winning streak to 13 games to improve to 30-18 on the season and 13-1 in league. The Dukes dropped to 27-19 and 6-8 in conference.
In game two, three different GSU pitchers combined on a six-hitter to lead the Panthers. McCall Langford drew the start and earned the winning, improving to 12-8 on the season. She allowed two runs on five hits while striking out six in 4 2/3 innings pitched. Kaitlyn Medlam allowed a hit and a walk 1 1/3 innings of relief before giving way to Erin Collins who pitched a perfect seventh.
Senior pitcher Olivia McPherson (Liberty, N.C./Southern Alamance) took the loss to drop to 11-10. She allowed six runs on five hits and two walks in 1 1/3 innings pitched. Freshman Brittany Jeans (Camano Island, Wash./Stanwood) gave up five runs on six hits and three walks while striking out two in 4 2/3 innings of relief while junior Casey Mansfield (Suffolk, Va./Isle of Wight) walked one and struck out one in one inning pitched.
Designated player Brenna Morrissey led the GSU attack, going 3-for-3 with two home runs, three runs scored and four RBIs. Right fielder Audrey Mason added two hits, a home run, two runs and three RBIs while left fielder Tiffany Bess homered, scored a run and drove in three.
Junior second baseman Caitlen Manning (Prince George, Va./Prince George) led the Dukes going 2-for-3 with a double and two RBIs while freshman third baseman Caitlin Sandy (Fayetteville, N.C./Jack Britt) doubled and scored a run. Junior shortstop Ashley Burnham (Danvers, Mass./Danvers) added a hit, a walk and a run scored.
The Panthers jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the top of the first inning. After a fly-out to start the game, Morrissey drew a walk and moved to second on a single up the middle by first baseman Lauren Jones. Shortstop Paige Nowacki followed with line drive that tipped off the glove of Sandy and went down the left-field line for a RBI single. Mason then turned on a 1-1 offering, driving a three-run home run out over the fence in right-center.
A home run by Morrissey to left-center field added two runs to the lead in the second inning. Center fielder Jessica Clifton scored on the play after drawing a one-out walk.
The Dukes struck for two runs of their own in the bottom of the fourth. Burnham started the rally with a single through the left side before moving to third on a double to left field by Sandy. Junior second baseman Caitlen Manning (Prince George, Va./Prince George) drove in both runners with a double to left-center field.
Georgia State expanded its lead back up to six runs on Morrissey’s second home run of the game. Pinch runner Chelsea Sparks scored on the play after entering for third baseman Megan Kallatsa, who reached on a one-out walk.
A three-run home run to left field by left fielder Tiffany Bess capped the Georgia State scoring for the day. Nowacki and Mason scored after leading off the inning with a double and an infield single, respectively.
In game one, McPherson took the loss after running into a rough second inning to drop to 11-9. She allowed eight runs, five earned, on six hits and a walk while striking out two in five innings pitched.
Alana Thomas earned the win for Georgia State after tossing her second complete game of the season. She allowed five hits, a walk and struck out three in five innings of work to improve to 7-7.
Offensively, the Dukes got five hits from five different players. Sandy led the way, going 1-for-2 with a double. Burnham, sophomore first baseman Haley Johnson (Ashburn, Va./Broad Run), senior catcher Katie Spitzer (Broadway, Va./Broadway) and redshirt senior outfielder Chel’sea Ryan (Sandston, Va./Henrico) each added single for JMU.
Four different players had a hit, a run and a RBI for GSU, including Nowacki, Bess, Kallatsa and catcher Maddy Stanton. Morrissey added a single and a run scored in four at bats.
The Panthers capitalized on a rough defensive inning from the Dukes to post eight runs on five hits and two errors in the second inning. After Nowacki led off the frame with a single through the left side, she advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt. Mason reached first on the sacrifice bunt when Spitzer’s attempt to throw out Nowacki was late. Bess and Stanton followed with back-to-back singles to open up a 2-0 lead. A bunt single by second baseman Whitney Phillips loaded the bases followed by a single to center by Kallatsa to make it 3-0. Two more runs scored on a dropped fly ball in the JMU outfield before a Madison throwing error plated two more runners for a 7-0 GSU lead. Nowacki capped the inning with a sacrifice fly to center field.
McPherson settled down after the second inning, retiring 12 straight batters to avoid any further damage.
The Dukes return to the field next weekend in Towson, Md. as they play a three-game CAA series against the Towson Tigers.
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