Gamecock Softball Blanks Samford in Twinbill Sweep
3/8/2011 | Softball
GAME ONE STATS | GAME TWO STATS
JACKSONVILLE – The Jacksonville State softball team plated 15 runs and held Samford to just one hit on Tuesday afternoon, when the Gamecocks rolled to a twinbill sweep in their home opener at University Field.
The Gamecocks (10-6) got a walk-off three-run home run by sophomore Krystal Ruth that capped a 9-0 mercy-rule win in the first game of the afternoon and then had three pitchers combine for a rain-shortened no-hitter of the Bulldogs (3-13) in a 6-0 win in the nightcap. Samford's lone hit of the day came in the first inning of game one, and the JSU pitching staff tossed 10.1 innings of no-hit softball from that point.
In that finale, freshman Tiffany Harbin, junior Kristin Graham and sophomore Hilary Phillips held Samford hitless through five innings before rain ended the game. It was JSU's first no-hitter since Ashley Eliasson's eight-inning no-no of Pittsburgh on March 14 of last season. Eliasson, a senior on the 2011 Gamecocks roster, also tossed a gem on Tuesday, limiting the Bulldogs to one hit in five innings in the first game of the day.
Senior Amanda Crow went 4-for-6 on the afternoon with a home run and four RBI. Junior Kristin Graham drove in two in her 4-for-4 day that featured a home run, two doubles and a walk.
In the opener, Crow gave Eliasson a three-run lead in the first inning with her third home run of the season and one of her two hits. Fellow senior Eliasson took that lead and ran with it, only allowing one runner past second base in her five scoreless innings in the circle. The Vallejo, Calif., native needed just 67 pitches to earn her first win of the year, one that saw her hold the Bulldogs hitless after an Alex Adams double in the first.
After Crow and the Gamecocks jumped on Robyn Harmon in the first, the Samford starter settled down and limited JSU to two hits over the next four innings before the bats came alive again in a six-run sixth.
In the mercy-rule clinching inning, JSU rattled off five hits that were highlighted by a two-run pinch-hit double by junior Katie Matchen, an RBI single by freshman Tyris Branford and Ruth's pinch-hit walk-off blast.
Harmon (0-4) was tagged for nine runs on nine hits in 5.2 innings in the circle. She walked two and struck out five in the loss. Eliasson (1-1) earned the win, while freshman Savanna Hennings struck out two in a perfect sixth inning to earn her first career save.
In the finale of the doubleheader, the Gamecocks jumped on the Bulldogs once again. They scored two on a first-inning home run by Graham and one on a second-inning leadoff blast by junior Kaycee Crow before a three-run third broke the game open. Amanda Crow had an RBI single in the inning, while a two-run triple from Kaycee Crow capped the scoring and gave Harbin all the support she would need.
The freshman from Hazel Green, Ala., tossed a perfect three innings to improve to 5-4 on the season, striking out four and needing just 39 pitches to win the rain-shortened game. Graham made her debut in the circle for JSU in the fourth, a two-walk, one-strikeout frame. Phillips also walked a pair in the fifth, but held the Bulldogs hitless as the rains began to fall heavily and soak the playing surface at University Field.
Kayla Burris (2-7) threw all four innings for the Bulldogs and suffered the loss after surrendering six runs on seven hits. She walked three and struck out two.
Kaycee Crow led JSU's offensive attack in the nightcap by going 2-for-2 with a triple, a home run and three RBI, while Amanda Crow's 2-for-3 game led to one RBI. Graham drove in a pair by going 2-for-2 in the win.
The Gamecocks will return home on Thursday, when they play host to Kennesaw State at 5 p.m. at University Field. Admission is free for all JSU home softball games.