BOILING SPRINGS – Gardner-Webb rallied for a 4-1 win in the nightcap Saturday to earn a split in a Big South doubleheader against Radford. The Highlanders held on for a 6-4 win in the opener.
GAME TWO – Gardner-Webb 4, Radford 1
Gardner-Webb used a three-run burst in the sixth inning to break a 1-1 tie and captured a 4-1 win over Radford in the finale of Saturday's twinbill.
After Radford tied the game on an RBI single from Maggie Rowe with two outs in the top of the sixth, the Runnin' Bulldogs (11-21, 4-3 Big South) came through with the game-winning rally.
Annamarie Warley singled to right with one away, then Kaylee Wacaster provided what would be the game winner – belting an RBI double into right center. A walk to Rachel Cumiskey put two on board, then freshman sensation Alia Booth roped a two-run double into center for a 4-1 lead.
Radford would get out of the jam, but Gardner-Webb ace Mackenzie Thompson retired the Highlanders in order to pick up the win.
Thompson (3-8) went the distance, allowing just one run on two hits. She fanned six and walked three in a strong performance in the circle.
Gardner-Webb had six hits in the game, with Booth (3-for-4, 2 2B, 2 RBI) leading that charge. Warley (2-for-2, 2B, RBI) and Wacaster (1-for-3, 2B, RBI) accounted for the rest of the offense in the nightcap.
Radford's Kayla Huffman (3-4) took the loss, allowing four runs (three earned) in 6.0 innings pitched. She fanned nine, but walked seven and hit another batter.
The Highlanders got one hit each from Kayla Bishton and Rowe.
GAME ONE – Radford 6, Gardner-Webb 4
Gardner-Webb rallied for four runs in the bottom of the seventh, but Radford held on for a 6-4 victory in the opener of Saturday's twinbill.
The game was broadcast live on ESPN3 (WatchESPN.com).
After the Highlanders took a 6-0 lead with a run in the top of the seventh, Gardner-Webb (10-21, 3-3 Big South) came alive.
Rachel Cumiskey led off with a double to the wall in left center, then Alia Booth reached on an error to drive home Cumiskey for a 6-1 score. After a walk to Maddi Johnson, Callie Thornton strolled into the batter's box and belted a home run deep to left – a three-run shot – that pulled GWU within 6-4.
A Madi Lewis single to center brought the tying run to the plate, but Radford's Abby Morrow coaxed a pop fly and ground ball to end the game.
The Highlanders scored a pair in the fourth inning on a two-run triple by Kayla Bishton and added another in the fifth in an infield single by Hunter Mundy.
Radford got a two-run home run from Lindsey Toneygay and pushed its lead to 6-0 in the seventh on Maggie Rowe's sacrifice fly.
The Highlanders had 12 hits in the opener, with Mundy (3-for-4) leading the way. Bishton (2-for-2, 2 RBI), Tapia (2-for-4) and Maddrey (2-for-3) each had two hits for Radford.
Morrow (12-7) picked up the win, going the distance and allowing four runs on four hits – with three knocks coming in the seventh inning. She fanned four and walked one.
Gardner-Webb was led by Thornton (2-for-3, HR, 3 RBI) at the plate. Summer Darnell (1-6) took the loss in the circle for the 'Dogs, going 3.0 innings and allowing two earned runs on five hits. Ashley Wark came on to pitch 4.0 innings of relief for Gardner-Webb.
The Runnin' Bulldogs and Highlanders will play the rubber match on Sunday afternoon at 2:00 pm.