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Lady Braves split Senior Day twin bill
By Nick Phillips
After dropping the first game of their Peach Belt Conference doubleheader 5- 0, the UNCP softball team answered back with a walkoff, 3-2 win in the finale on Senior Day for six Lady Braves April 10.
The pair of games was the final home contests for Courtney Hill, Loren Bartz, Lynn Grantham, Kristen Hobbs and Caroline Newman. In the first game, Flagler scored four runs in the top of the fourth inning on their way to the win, while UNCP mustered only one hit in the contest.
The only Lady Braves hit came off the bat of freshman Taylor Cloninger in the bottom of the fourth inning.
Newman was saddled with the loss after getting the start, as her Senior Day performance did not go as planned, lasting only 1-1/3 innings and walking four while allowing one run.
Sophomore Starr Gilley didn't fare any better, finishing the rest of the game in relief and giving up four runs and seven hits while striking out seven batters.
Despite the game one loss, Senior Day ended on a high note in game two when a junior stole the show.
With the bases loaded and one out in the bottom of the seventh inning, junior Ashley Harrell's single brought home Cloninger for the win.
Freshman pitcher Natalie Klemann tossed a complete game inside the circle for the win, allowing only nine hits while striking out three Flagler batters.
Hill and Bartz each finished their final games 2- for-3, while Patrick also added one hit.
UNCP used back-toback walks by Cloninger and Hill to set up an RBIsingle by sophomore Holly Berry to take a 1-0 lead in the third inning before adding another run in the sixth inning when junior Jamie Burwell drove home Harrell.
Burwell's RBI loomed large, as Flagler plated two runs in the top of the seventh inning to put the pressure back on UNCP.
Cloninger led off the bottom of the seventh with a single before advancing to second base when Hill grounded out. Berry walked before Patrick's single loaded the bases.
That set up Harrell for the game winnning single over the head of the infield.