Boiling Springs, N.C. - Gardner-Webb sophomore pitchers Jessica Childers and Alyssa Gutierrez combined to hold North Carolina A&T to three unearned runs on seven hits, while striking out 11 Lady Aggie batters over 14 innings of work en route to a doubleheader sweep of the Lady Aggies at Varsity Field on Tuesday afternoon.
GWU defeated North Carolina A&T 4-2 and 5-1 in the two games, improving to 4-2 overall and a perfect 4-0 at home.
Game 1: Gardner-Webb 4, N.C. A&T 2
In game one, the GWU offense struggled in the early innings, however, Childers was able to keep the home team in the game until a three-run sixth led the Runnin' Bulldogs to the 4-2 win.
Childers was able to pitch out of trouble in both the first and the second innings, as she overcame two hits and three errors to leave five base runners stranded for the Lady Aggies over the first two innings of play.
GWU took an early 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second, as pitch runner Rachel Jablonski scored on a fielders' choice to put the home team on top early.
After both teams' threatened to score in the fourth, Gardner-Webb's offense broke through in the bottom of the sixth when shortstop Jordyn Arrowood ripped a two-out single through the right side to plate freshman Savannah Burns and put the home team up 2-0.
Sophomore Samantha Meenaghan followed with a two-run home run over the right center field fence, her first career home run, to put the Runnin' Bulldogs in front at 4-0 heading into the final inning of play.
The home run proved to be vital, as the Lady Aggies pushed across two runs in the top of the seventh on one hit, a GWU throwing error and a sacrifice fly before Childers shut the door to give the Runnin' Bulldogs the 4-2 win.
Childers (1-1) picked up the complete game win allowing only two unearned runs on six hits, while striking out three over the seven-inning contest.
The Lady Aggies' Ashira Dobison (0-1) recorded the loss, as the righty gave up four runs, three of which were earned, on seven hits and two walks over six innings of work.
Meenaghan led the way for GWU offensively, as she was 2-4 with a home run, two RBIs and a run scored, while Arrowood was 1-3 with an RBI and a run scored. Freshman designated player Amanda Gomes was 2-2 with two singles, while senior Lindsea Hutchinson was 1-2 with a sacrifice bunt.
For N.C. A&T, catcher Trenea Jones was 2-3 with a double and a sacrifice fly, while Raven Smith and Tiffany Macklin were both 1-3 for the game.
For the game, N.C. A&T left nine runners on base, while GWU stranded seven runners on base.
Game 2: Gardner-Webb 5, N.C. A&T 1
In only her second career start, Gutierrez pitched her best game to date, as the sophomore allowed only one unearned run on one hit, while striking eight in the 5-1 complete game win.
Neither team could find their offense in the first two innings, as the two teams' combined for just one hit in the start of the contest.
In the third inning, GWU got on the scoreboard as back-to-back infield singles by Arrowood and Meenaghan put two runners on with one out. After a ground out to second advanced the runners up to second and third, senior designated player McKenzie Morenus lined a single through the right side to clear the bases and put the home team up 2-0 after three innings of play.
In the top of the fifth, N.C. A&T cut the Gardner-Webb lead to one at 2-1 with an unearned run, only to have the Runnin' Bulldogs answer with a run of their own in the bottom half of the inning on a two-out RBI single by redshirt-junior Melinda Dulkowski.
Gardner-Webb added two more insurance runs in the bottom of the sixth by way of a Burns RBI single and an RBI single later in the inning by Jane Savage putting the score at 5-1.
Gutierrez (1-0) struck out eight and allowed one unearned run on one hit in the complete game win, while the Lady Aggies' Alexandria McAfee (0-1) suffered the loss, as she gave up five runs on 11 hits over six innings.
Burns was 2-2 with an RBI, a run scored and a walk, while Savage was 2-3 with an RBI and a run scored. Dulkowski was 2-3 with an RBI and a stolen base, while Arrowood was 1-2 with a run scored.
Offensively in game two for the Lady Aggies, Dominique Smith was 1-2 with a single, while Juanita Jernigan was 0-2 with a base-on-balls.
Gardner-Webb (4-2) will look to remain unbeaten at home this season when the Runnin' Bulldogs will host USC Upstate tomorrow afternoon at 1 p.m. in a non-conference twin tilt.