WOODSTOCK, Ga. – A pair of runs in the bottom of the sixth propelled the Jacksonville State softball team to a 4-2 win over UNC-Greensboro on Sunday at the Georgia Tech Buzz Classic.
Freshman Sam Rich broke a 2-2 tie in the sixth with her second career homer, a solo shot to left center that proved to be the game winner and snapped a two-game skid for the Gamecocks (6-7). JSU managed just two hits off of the Spartans (6-11) but drew seven walks and made them pay for a pair of fielding miscues.
Junior Ashley Eliasson (3-6) earned her second win of the weekend after fighting through seven strong innings. The Vallejo, Calif., native gave up two runs, one earned, on six hits in her sixth complete game of the season. She threw 123 pitches, walking three batters and striking out seven.
Heather Robb got the Spartans on the board in the top of the second, when she took a 3-2 pitch just over the wall in left field for a solo home run, her first of the year.
JSU finally got to UNCG starter Amber Harrell with two outs in the third, thanks to four walks and a single from Chrissy O'Neal. Nikki Prier and Kaycee Crow drew bases loaded passes to drive in runs and give JSU a 2-1 lead, its first advantage since Friday.
UNCG tied it at 2-2 in the top of the fourth after Robb reached and took second on an error by second baseman Kelci Johnston and eventually scored on a squeeze bunt from Whitney Sirois.
Rich put the Gamecocks back on top in the home half of the sixth, turning on a 2-2 Harrell pitch and depositing it in the trees beyond the wall in the left-centerfield gap. Sallie Beth Burch reached on an error and eventually scored on a Tess Echols sacrifice fly to put JSU up 4-2.
Harrell (2-6) labored through six innings to suffer the defeat in the circle. She allowed four runs, three earned, on just two hits, but seven walks and two errors by her defense proved costly.
JSU will be back on the diamond on Tuesday, when they play a single game at UAB in Birmingham, Ala. First pitch is set for 6 p.m. CT.