Boiling Springs, N.C. - Gardner-Webb redshirt-senior Cindy Boomhower posted a win and a save on Saturday afternoon, while senior McKenzie Morenus provided a two-out eighth-inning two-run walk-off home run in game one to help lead the Runnin' Bulldogs to a doubleheader sweep of Charleston Southern in Big South play on Senior Day at Varsity Field in Boiling Springs, N.C.
The Runnin' Bulldogs posted a 3-1 extra-inning win over CSU in game one and then held on for a 5-3 win over the Buccaneers in game two to complete the sweep.
With the two wins, GWU improves to 22-23 overall and 8-7 in Big South play, while Charleston Southern falls to 27-21 overall and 10-8 in conference play with the two losses.
Game 1: GWU 3, Charleston Southern 1 (8 innings)
GWU's Morenus hit a towering fly ball that sailed over the left field fence with two outs and one on in the bottom of the eighth to give the Runnin' Bulldogs the 3-1 walk-off win over the Buccaneers in game one of the twin tilt.
Gardner-Webb took an early 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second, as freshman Amanda Gomes led-off the inning with a hard single up the middle. After a sacrifice bunt and a ground out moved pitch runner Mariana Gallardo to third, senior Michelle Primm hit a ground ball to short. CSU's shortstop made an errant throw to first, allowing Primm to reach base safely and Gallardo to score from third for the first run of the game.
Neither team would do much on offense over the next two innings, until the Buccaneers tied the score up in the top of the fifth. After Hayes Holdsworth led-off the inning with a single up the middle, pitch runner Courtney Konyk advanced to second on a fielder's choice. With two outs, back-to-back errors by the left side of the GWU defense, allowed Konyk to score from second, knotting the score up at 1-1.
Charleston Southern, who left 10 base-runners on base in game one, left three on base combined in the sixth and seventh innings, leaving the score tied up at 1-1.
In the bottom of the seventh, redshirt-sophomore Morgan Baker led-off the inning with a single to center field. However, pitch runner Taylar Pridgen, who swiped second, was left stranded forcing the game into extra innings.
After GWU got out of the top of the eighth despite an error and a base-on-balls, the Runnin' Bulldogs' Samantha Meenaghan led-off the bottom half of the inning with a bunt single. After a sacrifice bunt by Melinda Dulkowski moved her up to second and then a ground ball to the right side of the infield by Savannah Burns moved her up to third, Morenus came to the plate with the winning run on third.
With two outs, Morenus left no doubt as she hit a monster fly ball over the left center field fence to give the Runnin' Bulldogs the 3-1 win. The home run was the fourth on the season for the senior catcher.
Boomhower (9-5) earned the win in relief work, as she pitched the final 5.1 innings of the contest, allowing one unearned run on four hits and two walks, while striking out three CSU batters.
Morgan Dowdy (15-11) suffered the loss for the Buccaneers, as the junior hurler gave up three runs, two of which were earned, on five hits and two walks, while recording three strikeouts in 7.2 innings of work.
At the plate for the Runnin' Bulldogs, Morenus was 1-4 with a home run and two RBI, while Meenaghan was 2-3 with a walk and a run scored.
For CSU offensively, Stephanie Sbardella and Holdsworth were both 2-4 for the game.
Game 2: GWU 5, Charleston Southern 3
In game two, the Runnin' Bulldogs score four in the first and did not look back, as GWU held on for the 5-3 win over the Buccaneers.
Gardner-Webb jumped out to a big lead in the bottom of the first, scoring four runs on two hits, one Charleston Southern error, a walk and a hit batsman. Meenaghan led-off the inning with a double down the left field line, which was immediately followed by Dulkowski getting hit by a pitch and Burns drawing a walk to load the bases.
Morenus then doubled to right field to plate both Meenaghan and Dulkowski to put GWU in front 2-0. With two runners on and no outs, Gomes would reach base safely on a fielding error which scored Burns and pushed the Runnin' Bulldogs lead to three with no outs.
Baker would tack on a sacrifice fly to left which drove in pitch runner Kellie Beres and put the home team on top 4-0 after one.
Charleston Southern got on the scoreboard in the top of the second, as starter Alyssa Gutierrez walked the bases loaded with one out. After a GWU pitching change, Jessica Childers gave up a flare single to short which scored Jana Matthews and cut the Gardner-Webb lead to three at 4-1.
The Runnin' Bulldogs got the run back in the bottom of the fourth with some help by the Buccaneers, as Jordyn Arrowood reach base on an error to lead off the inning. After Meenaghan was hit by a pitch, Dulkowski moved both runners up with a sacrifice bunt. Burns then hit a sacrifice fly to right field to drive in Arrowood and put GWU back in front by four at 5-1.
Charleston Southern would add a run in the sixth on an RBI single by Kristin Kelleher and would threaten in the seventh.
With the score at 5-2 in the top of the seventh, Charleston Southern's Megan Lombard and Matthews posted back-to-back singles to lead off the inning. After Sbardella was hit by a pitch to load the bases, Linzy Rother ground the ball back to the pitcher, where Boomhower went home with the ball to get the force out at the plate.
However, CSU's Holdsworth drew a bases walk to push across a run and cut the GWU lead to two at 5-3.
Boomhower then shut the door on the Charleston Southern, as she got the next two batters to strikeout and ground out to Burns at short to help Gardner-Webb hold on for the 5-3 win.
Childers (6-10) recorded the win for the Runnin' Bulldogs in relief, as the sophomore surrendered one run on four hits and three walks over four innings of action.
Boomhower (4) recorded her fourth save on the year, as she pitched the final 1.2 innings of the contest.
For the Buccaneers, Jennifer Giles (9-9) was handed the loss, as the righty gave up five runs, three of which were earned, on three hits, three walks and three hit batsman over four innings of play.
Morenus again led GWU offensively, as she was 1-2 with a double, a walk and two RBI, while Gomes was 1-3 with an RBI.
For CSU, Melissa Adams was 1-2 with an RBI, while Kelleher was 1-4 with an RBI.
Gardner-Webb and Charleston Southern will play the third and final game of the three-game weekend series tomorrow afternoon at 2 p.m. at Varsity Field.