Gardner-Webb Softball Falls Short Friday vs. Texas Tech and UCF at 2017 Bama Bash

Tim Cowie Photo  |
Tim Cowie Photo |

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Gardner-Webb dropped both of its Friday games at the 2017 Easton Bama Bash, falling by a 6-5 score to Texas Tech in the opener and dropping a 4-0 decision to UCF in its final game of the day.

GAME ONE – Texas Tech 6, Gardner-Webb 5
Gardner-Webb rallied for four runs in the bottom of the sixth to tie the game, but fell just short in a 6-5 loss to Texas Tech Friday at the 2017 Easton Bama Bash.

Callie Thornton led off the sixth with a single to left, then moved into scoring position on a single to right from Madi Lewis. After a fielder's choice, Annemarie Warley drove home Thornton with a sacrifice fly to center.

Gardner-Webb (3-11) loaded the bases with two outs, as Maddi Johnson was plunked and Kaylee Wacaster drew a six-pitch walk. Megan Gibbons delivered a clutch hit, driving home three runs with a double into left to tie the game.

The Red Raiders regrouped, however, getting a strikeout to keep the game tied – and scoring the go-ahead run in the top of the seventh.

A walk to lead off the seventh and an RBI triple from Raina O'Neal provided the winning run for Texas Tech.

Thornton had Gardner-Webb's other RBI, driving home Rachel Cumiskey in the fourth inning to cut Texas Tech's early lead to 2-1. The Red Raiders added two runs in the fifth and another in the sixth to take its 5-1 lead.

Gardner-Webb had seven hits in the game, with Thornton (2-for-4) leading that charge.

Gardner-Webb starter Mackenzie Thompson hurled 4.1 innings and allowed just two earned runs in the circle, fanning two and walking three. Ashley Wark (2-2) took the loss, allowing one earned run on just two hits in 2.2 innings of work out of the pen. She fanned a pair and issued three walks.

O'Neal led Texas Tech offensively, collecting two of the team's six hits in the game. Three of the Red Raiders' first five runs were unearned – and another scored on an illegal pitch in the fifth.

Mattison Maisel (3-1) came out of the bullpen to earn the victory for Texas Tech, despite allowing four runs on three hits (two walks) in 2.0 innings of relief work.

GAME TWO – UCF 5, Gardner-Webb 0
Gardner-Webb was again the designated home team against the Golden Knights and had success at the plate, but the 'Dogs stranded eight runners in a 5-0 loss.

UCF plated two runs in the third and one each in the fourth and fifth to take the lead.

An error came back to bite the Runnin' Bulldogs in the third, as Tamesha Glover belted a two-run home run with two outs in the frame to put the Golden Knights on top with a pair of unearned runs. Another two-out hit pushed the lead to 3-0 in the fourth, as M. Greenwell stroked a single through the left side to drive home another run.

The Golden Knights added another run in the fifth, taking advantage of back-to-back walks to lead off the inning.

Gardner-Webb (3-12) had a golden opportunity itself in the second, loading the bases on Kaylee Wacaster's two-out single through the right side. UCF got the third out of the inning, however, stranding three Runnin' Bulldogs. GWU also stranded a pair in the bottom of the first after Alia Booth legged out a two-out infield single and Rachel Cumiskey drew a walk.

Gardner-Webb got a single from Cumiskey with one out in the third and a two-out single from Madi Lewis – but UCF again got the third out before the Runnin' Bulldogs could push either across the plate.

UCF took advantage of an error on an infield fly to score its final run of the day in the top of the seventh.

The Runnin' Bulldogs were retired in order in the sixth and seventh, as UCF starter Kamryn Toney went the distance to record a shutout in the circle.

Toney (2-0) fanned three, walked two and scattered five hits in her complete-game effort. The Golden Knights had 10 hits in the game, with Glover going 3-for-3 to lead the way.

Gardner-Webb's Summer Darnell (0-3) was tagged with the loss, allowing just one earned run in 4.0 innings of work. She fanned two, allowed five hits and issued one walk. Sam Harrell and Olivia Henson finished out the game for GWU.

The Runnin' Bulldogs had five different batters with one hit each offensively.

Gardner-Webb will face UCF again on Saturday at Noon (ET), before battling No. 10 Alabama at 2:30 Saturday afternoon. GWU will wrap up the Bama Bash on Sunday against Texas Tech (Noon).