GC softball falls 2-1 in series versus Lander

Junior utility player MacKenzie Hoffman slap hits the incoming pitch versus Lander on Friday, March 24.

Marissa Marcolina

Junior utility player MacKenzie Hoffman slap hits the incoming pitch versus Lander on Friday, March 24.

Drew Bogumill, Staff Writer

The GC softball team is in the middle of their season and in the heart of conference play. The team has shown tremendous improvement from a year ago, already recording 10 more wins than last year.

The team was 19-10 heading into their three-game series versus Lander. Unfortunately for the Bobcats, Lander took the series 2-1.

The Bobcats scored first in game one, driving in a pair of runs in the first inning. Third baseman Kam Caldwell recorded an RBI-single to drive in the game’s first run, and left fielder Mackenzie Martin drove in the second with a double to center field.

Lander held GC scoreless for the remainder of the game, tying the game in the fourth and taking the lead in the fifth. The Bobcats were held to just four hits, all but one coming in the first inning.

Junior Jana Shellhorse pitched well in the loss, as only half of the runs were earned, and she struck out six batters.

Game two saw a late rally for GC that ended up falling just short.

It was Lander’s turn to score early, scratching across a single run in the first frame. It was not until the sixth inning that the Bearcats added to their lead with three more runs. 

The Bobcats came alive in the bottom of the sixth, loading the bases on a hit by pitch and two singles. The Bobcats had the tying run on the bases in both the sixth and seventh but could not secure a hit to tie things up.

Freshman shortstop Sydney Lancaster went 3-for-3 in game two with a steal, and senior first baseman Jessica Owens went  2-for-4. The Bobcats rattled off ten hits in the second contest but couldn’t string much together.

Junior Shelby Jones took the loss, as she went all seven innings with four earned runs and three strikeouts.

Game three was all GC. The Bobcats took down Lander 7-2 to avoid the series sweep.

The story of the afternoon was the seven-run third inning for the Bobcats. Owens reached base on a bases-loaded error to push the first run around to score. Senior Shea Zweifel picked up her first RBI of the contest, drawing a walk to push the second run of the game.

With this win the Bobcats achieved their first 20-win season since 2019.

“I think the team performed well against Lander this weekend,” Lancaster said. “Throughout the series, there were several different players who stepped up in order to stay competitive in each game and come out with a win in game three of the series.”

Infielder Jessica Owens said the three-game series taught her the importance of each of her teammates.

“It’s not the starting lineup that makes the team; it is everyone,” Owens said. “One individual can make or break a season.”

In order for a team to find success, adjustments must be made throughout the season.

“I think there was a major adjustment in our mindset between the first two games and the third game,” said utility player Divina Checo. “We made a lot fewer mistakes, and the team was, overall, just locked into the game in order to secure the win.”

The softball team will now get ready for another three-game series, this time against Augusta. The Bobcats will hope to come away victorious in the series as the season gets closer to its end.