Greenville, S.C. - The Gardner-Webb Runnin' Bulldogs struggled at the plate offensively on Saturday afternoon, as GWU posted only three runs on seven hits in the twin bill, falling to Furman 3-2 in eight innings in game one and 6-1 in game two in Greenville, S.C.
The two losses drops GWU to 2-2 on the season, while with the doubleheader sweep, Furman improves to 2-5 on the year.
Game 1: Furman 3, Gardner-Webb 2 (8 innings)
Game one saw very little offense, as the two teams failed to score and combined for only three hits over the first seven innings of play, sending the game into extra innings where Furman scored three runs in the bottom of the eighth to defeat GWU 3-2 in eight innings.
Gardner-Webb threatened in the top of the second, as first-baseman Morgan Baker led off the inning with a single down the left line. However, after an Amanda Gomes sacrifice bunt moved pitch runner Emily Bowman to second, the next two GWU hitters made outs to end the scoring threat.
In the bottom half of the second, the Paladins put two runners on, yet failed to score as GWU starter Jessica Childers got Natalie Clemmons to pop out to second to end the inning.
Again Furman threatened in the fourth, putting a runners on second and third with only one out. However, GWU's Childers got the next two Paladin batters to strikeout looking and pop out to second to keep the home team off the scoreboard after four innings of play.
Despite putting a runner on base safely in both the fourth and the sixth innings, GWU couldn't put together a series of hits, failing to score in those frames.
Neither team would score in the seventh sending the game into extra innings.
In the top of the eighth, with freshman Taylar Pridgen placed on second base to start the inning due to international rules, senior outfielder Lindsea Hutchinson attempted to lay down a sacrifice bunt. On the play, Furman's pitcher fielded the ball and made a throwing error, allowing Pridgen to score from second and Hutchinson to advance a base, putting the visitors up 1-0.
After GWU's Mariana Gallardo, who entered the game to pitch run for Hutchinson, advanced to third on a Jane Savage ground out and then later scored on a RBI single to center by Melinda Dulkowski putting the Runnin' Bulldogs in front 2-0.
In the bottom half of the inning, centerfield Nikki Legg, who started on second was pushed up to third on a sacrifice bunt by Taylor Jenkins. Pitch hitter Alex Bimonte then singled down the left field line to score Legg and cut the GWU lead to one at 2-1.
After a four pitch base-on-balls to the Paladins' Jessie Homesley, a throwing error by the GWU catcher and another walk to Lakyn Shull loaded the bases for Furman, pitch hitter Lauren Collier double to left center to plate two and hand the Paladins the 3-2 extra inning win.
GWU's Childers (0-1) suffered the loss, as the sophomore allowed three runs, two of which were earned, on four hits, while issuing five walks and striking out two over 7.1 innings of work.
Furman's Lakyn Shull (1-0) held on for the complete game win, allowing only two unearned runs, while striking out one GWU hitter over 8.0 innings of action.
Offensively for GWU, Dulkowski was 1-3 with an RBI and a stolen base, while Baker was 1-3. Pridgen and Gallardo each scored on run apiece in the loss.
For Furman at the plate, Collier was 1-1 with a double and two RBIs, while Bimonte was 1-1 with an RBI single.
Game 2: Furman 6, Gardner-Webb 1
After recording only two hits in the entire eight innings of play in game one, the Runnin' Bulldogs picked up two hits in the first inning alone in game two, as Samantha Meenaghan led off the game with a bunt single. After advancing to second on a ground out and then third on a wild pitch. senior McKenzie Morenus hit a sacrifice fly to center field to plate Meenaghan and put GWU up early at 1-0.
Like Gardner-Webb, Furman's offense picked up in game two, as three singles loaded the bases with one out in the bottom of the first. The next Furman hitter flied out to left field where Savage made the catch and came up throwing to home to nail Legg out at the plate and keep the Paladins off the scoreboard.
Furman blew open the game in the bottom of the third, as the Paladins pushed across five runs on five hits, a bases loaded walk and a GWU fielding error to take a 5-1 lead after three innings of play.
After the Paladins added an insurance run in the bottom of the fourth, Gardner-Webb attempted to fight back into the game, posting back-to-back singles by Dulkowski and Meenaghan in the top of the fifth. However, a fielder's choice ended the inning, leaving the score at 6-1 in favor of Furman.
Freshman Kellie Beres singled through the left side in the top of the seventh for her first career hit, however, GWU would fall short in a 6-1 non-conference loss.
Boomhower (1-1) was saddled with the loss, as she surrendered five runs, three of which were earned, on six hits and one walk over 2.1 innings of work.
Hannah Bradley (1-0) earned the complete game win, allowing one run on five hits, while striking out six in the win.
At the plate for the Runnin' Bulldogs, Meenaghan was 2-3 with a run scored, while Dulkowski and Baker were both 1-2 for the game.
For Furman offensively, Homesley was 2-3 with an RBI, while Amber Muller was 1-2 with a double, an RBI and a run scored.
Gardner-Webb (2-2) will return home to host North Carolina A&T on Tuesday, February 21st, in a non-conference twin bill beginning at 1 p.m. at Varsity Field.