Bobcat Softball splits series with #19 Anderson University


Bailey Clark, Senior Writer

The GC softball team (6-10) traveled to No. 19 Anderson University (16-2) Friday Feb. 25 and split the series, beating them in Game 2 to hand the nationally-ranked squad their second loss of the season.

The Bobcats dropped Game 1 in a five-inning 11-0 loss as they recorded only two hits. GC freshman Divina Checo and sophomore teammate Ashley Schell had the lone hits of the contest, both of which were doubles.

Macy Banks got the pitching start and the loss in the circle. She allowed five earned runs on five hits in 1.1 innings of work. Milledgeville local Brayden Latimer got the first relief effort, then rookie Kaitlyn Anders closed the contest, going 2.1 innings.

In the second game, the Bobcats turned the matchup on its head and stunned the Trojans, picking up an 8-6 victory. GC scored eight runs on nine hits, notching four runs in the first inning and three in the seventh. A huge first inning kicked off with freshman Jaycee Haycraft reaching first base via walk before big hitter Jessica Owens launched a double to right field to bring Haycraft across for the score. In the biggest play of the game, transfer Shea Zweifel launched her first home run as a Bobcat over the left centerfield fence to drive in two of her teammates. The three-run homer set the tone for a bounce-back GC performance.

The Bobcat bats cooled off in the next period then regained some rhythm in the third as sophomore Brooke Lougher plated teammate MacKenzie Martin on a sacrifice fly to right field. After a big fifth inning from the Trojans, the Bobcats trailed going into the seventh, but the bats came alive when it mattered most.

GC sophomore Sydney Newberry kicked off the inning with an absolute rocket to left field for her first collegiate home run. With two outs late in the period, Checo came up clutch with bases loaded as she smacked a two-RBI double through the left-center gap to put GC up 8-6 and secure the win.

“It felt so good,” Newberry said. “ It was super exciting being able to step up in that situation. I was the lead-off that inning so my goal was just to get on base and get some momentum rolling. All of my at-bats, I was just telling myself that if it’s there I’m swinging because recently I’ve been getting behind in counts and having to hit pitches that aren’t necessarily the best. Both of my hits that game were on first-pitch strikes, so it worked. The homer definitely gave me some more confidence that I’ve been needing at the plate, so I’m just going to try to continue on this path.”

Montana Ledbetter got the Game 2 pitching start and win for the Bobcats. Ledbetter started the game then was pulled out for sophomore Golden Thrower. Ledbetter was put back into the game in the fifth inning to finish what she started. She allowed one earned run on one hit and added a strikeout to her boxscore. This marked the first nationally ranked team Ledbetter has beaten in a Bobcat uniform.

“It always feels great when you beat really good competition,” Ledbetter said. “I never had any doubt in my mind that we couldn’t beat Anderson. My riseball and drop curve were really working for me because they didn’t know if it would go high or low through the zone. When I got re-entered, I wanted to prove that I was able to pitch against this team. I kept a good attitude and pushed through the adversity, which helped us get the win. I proved who I am and what I can do to win for this team.”

The Bobcats are back in action Friday Mar. 4 on the road at Lander University to kick off conference play. Game 1 is set to kick off at 4 p.m. Live stats and video links will be available at