BARNESVILLE, GA – The Gordon State College softball team used solid pitching and a total of 27 hits to score 18 runs on its way to defeating GCAA conference foe Georgia Highlands College 11-2 and 7-6 in Barnesville on Friday night. Hannah Coulter, Hannah Rae Griffin Hunter Lee and Montana Schug combined for sixteen of those hits and Taylor Dykes had two home runs and five RBI's. "We came out and attacked, our bats were on fire and our pitching was good. If we can come out like that every conference doubleheader and just attack the other team we are going to be in really good shape come the end of April," said Associate Head Coach Ken Deyton.
The Highlanders quickly jumped on the Chargers in game one by scoring three runs in the first and never looked back in the 11-2 five inning victory. Maddie Greene recorded the win while Natalie Hardy and Maddie Green entered the game out of the bullpen in relief. The Highlander pitching staff allowed just five Charger hits in game one. Game two was a different story as Georgia Highlands attacked first and grew their lead to 6-0 before the Highlanders used a five run sixth inning, propelled by home runs by Montana Schug and Taylor Dykes to keep the game close. In the bottom on the seventh inning, Hannah Coulter tied the game at six a piece with her single to center field scoring Schug. The international tie breaker rule was in effect starting in the top of the eighth inning and it was Coulter that had perhaps the biggest play of the game when she caught McKenzy McFarland extending her lead at second base and picked her off with a perfect throw to Lauren DeLoach for the second out of the inning. The Highlanders placed Addy Allegretti on second base in the bottom of the eighth where Dykes moved her to third on a sacrifice bunt and then Kelly Bostwick came up with the game winning RBI with her ball that was hit to right field. "These wins were definitely big for our program," said Head Coach Ally Hattermann. "It showed the resiliency of our team in how they were able to bounce back from our split at West Georgia Tech on Wednesday and come from behind in game two tonight to get the win. Georgia Highlands is always a tough opponent and this was the first time we were able to sweep them since they joined the league in 2014." Maddie Green came in to pitch in relief of Greene and Hardy and got the win for the Highlanders. She pitched four innings, allowing just one hit and striking out five. "I'm super proud of all of the pitchers and their performances in these games but was really impressed with "Junior" in game two, " said Hattermann. "She was able to come in to the game down six runs and silence the Chargers bats which gave our offense a chance to win this game. That's not an easy thing to do against Georgia Highlands."
With the sweep, the Highlanders moved to 11-7 in GCAA play and were able to trade places with Georgia Highlands in the GCAA standings. South Georgia State College, who is currently in second place, will visit the Highlanders on Thursday for a 2 PM doubleheader.