Seniors Lead Softball’s Sweep of Presbyterian; McGee Sets Home Run Record
BUIES CREEK, N.C. – Seniors Taylor McGee and Christina Melton made Senior Day memorable and led the charge for Campbell's softball team (29-27, 12-9 BSC) in the sweep of Presbyterian (19-31, 8-13 BSC) by scores of 3-1 and 8-0 on Saturday, April 5, at Amanda Littlejohn Stadium.
McGee provided the game-winner for Campbell with her two-run home run in the bottom of the 10th inning. The home run was the 41st of her career, which broke the school record and gave the Camels the walk-off victory. The blast landed deep over the center field wall and made a winner of Melton.
Melton (4-6) was simply magnificent for Campbell in throwing all 10 innings and tying the school record with 12 strikeouts. The 10 innings thrown was the longest outing of her career bettering the 9.1 innings she threw in the game against Mercer during the 2010 season. Her 12 strikeout tied the Campbell single season record set by Kathy Freaney against Morgan State in 2000. The 10+ strikeouts marked the third time her career that she had topped the mark and the first since she struck out 10 against Florida Gulf Coast last season. The appearance in the circle for Melton was her first since late March against Radford (3/30). The start she earned as a pitcher was the first time that she had started a game since the beginning of March against Tennessee State (3/2). She started the game by fanning the first six batters she faced. Melton also only walked one and scattered seven hits.
Presbyterian's Kensley Loudermelk (8-11) matched Melton pitch for pitch for most of the game and allowed just the three runs (two earned) with nine strikeouts and one walk in 9.1 innings thrown in the opening game.
Presbyterian threatened in the third inning. Lyndsey York singled to start the frame, moved to second on a sacrifice bunt but was thrown out at third as she attempt to advance on a single by Jill McLean.
The Blue Hose again threatened in the fourth inning. Morgan Durham was hit by a pitch and quickly stole second. Shelby Petik then reached on a fielding error from the CU shortstop to put runners on first and second base. Melton was up to the task though and struck out the next two to escape trouble.
The Camels put multiple runners on base in the fifth inning. Melton walked and moved to second on freshman Kerstine Womack's one-out infield single. A fielder's choice eliminated Melton and strikeout ended the frame.
CU nearly broke through for a run in the eighth inning. Freshman Ericka Nesbitt reached base on a lead-off bunt single. She took second on freshman Erica Johnson's sacrifice bunt. Freshman Stephanie Jones then singled to right field. On the play Nesbitt took third, but was thrown out as she attempted to score on a strong throw from the Presbyterian right fielder
PC dented the scoreboard first with a run in the ninth inning. Leslie Hensley reached on a lead-off single. Hayley Bonner ran for Hensley. After the next two were retired in order, Rachel Hopper doubled to the gap in left field to score Bonner from first.
In the bottom of the inning the Camels tied the game in exciting fashion. Junior Sarah Forgacs beat out a bunt single to start the frame. A sacrifice bunt from freshman Camise Patterson moved Forgacs to second. Melton reached on an infield single to put runners on first and second. After a strikeout, Womack was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Nesbitt then guided a sinking line drive to left field that just tipped off the diving left fielder's glove to score Forgacs and tie the game at one all.
The top of the 10th inning was saved by a defensive gem from CU sophomore Raven Lee and Jones. Lee had entered the game as a defensive replacement at third base to start the inning and was able to grab a popped up bunt just in front the plate. She quickly turned and threw to Jones, who alertly covered second base from her center field position, to double off Tera Powell. Powell was placed on second to start the inning and had strayed too far off the base to get back on the popped up bunt.
McGee supplied her game-winning home run in the bottom of the frame. Johnson was placed on second to start the inning. A ground out moved her to third base where she had a great view on McGee's historic majestic blast to center field. The home run was McGee's 10th of the season.
The Camels jumped all over Presbyterian in the second game with a two-spot in the first inning. Nesbitt start the bottom of the first with an infield single. Patterson moved her to second with a sacrifice bunt. Nesbitt took third on a wild pitch. Jones and McGee both walk to load the bases. Forgacs then hit a fielder's choice grounder to the PC second baseman. Her attempt to tag out McGee failed though to allow Nesbitt to score the first run and keep the bases loaded. Melton followed with a sacrifice fly to plate Jones with the inning's second run.
Campbell's offensive roll continued with four more runs in the second inning. Nesbitt reached on a two-out single. A fielding error from the PC shortstop allowed Patterson to reach. Both runners would come in to score on Jones' three-run home run to left field. McGee made it back-to-back home runs and unloaded with her 11th blast of the season to increase the margin to 6-0.
CU scored a single run in the third inning on Lee's home run to center field.
Campbell finished off the scoring with a single tally in the bottom of the fifth inning. Freshman Maggie Christopher reached on a fielder's choice ground out. Fellow rookie Casey Taylor was walked to move Christopher to second base. Both runners were able to move up a base on a pass ball. Patterson followed with a single up the middle to score Christopher and end the game.
Freshman Julia Callicutt (8-7) allowed just two hits in throwing the complete game shutout. The shutout was her third of the season. She struck out one and didn't allow a walk. The loss was taken by PC's Hensley (10-15). Hensley allowed six run (two earned) in two innings worked.
Campbell will now wait on seeding for the upcoming Big South Tournament. The Camels have guaranteed at least a four seed and could potentially move all the way up to the second seed depending on the other action around the Big South on Saturday and Sunday. The Big South Tournament is set to be held in Radford, Va. from May 10-13.