|Seahawks Split Twinbill With Blue Hose|
DURHAM, North Carolina - Freshman Taylor Matkins was 3-for-3 with a RBI to lead UNCW to a 7-3 victory over Presbyterian in the opening game of a doubleheader Friday in the NCCU Eagle Challenge at Parkwood Field. UNCW was unable to complete the doubleheader sweep, falling 5-4 to the Blue Hose in extra innings in the nightcap.
The Seahawks moved to 9-12 on the season while the Blue Hose saw its record evened at 10-10. UNCW returns to action Saturday as it closes out the NCCU Eagle Challenge with games against Liberty (4:45 p.m. and host North Carolina Central (6:30 p.m.)
In game one, UNCW took a 2-0 lead in the top of the first on a two-run single down the right field line by senior Lauryn Buckworth and added four runs in the fourth on two hits and a Presbyterian error to build a 6-0 cushion.
The Blue Hose would get on the board in the bottom half of the fourth, scoring two runs on a single to right field by sophomore Shelby Petik to make it a 6-2 contest.
A run-scoring by freshman Erin Brown in the top of the sixth would stretch the UNCW advantage back to five, 7-2.
Presbyterian threatened to tie the game in the bottom of the seventh, loading the bases with one out before using a sacrifice fly by sophomore Morgan Durham to make it a 7-3 game. Sophomore Jordyn Schmidt would keep the Blue Hose from getting any closer, however, forcing sophomore Courtney Lawton to hit into a fielder's choice to end the game.
Matkins highlighted by a UNCW attack that finished with 11 hits during the opener. Buckworth drove in two runs while Brown, Matkins, junior Camry Wagner and sophomore Jessica Rappe drove in one run apiece.
Sophomore Casey Rowland got the start for the Seahawks in game one and allowed three runs on two hits and two walks in 6.1 innings to improve to 5-5 on the season. She struck out seven. Schmidt replaced Rowland in the top of the seventh and recorded the final two outs to pick up her first career save.
Game two saw the two teams trade runs in the fourth, with Presbyterian opening the scoring on a RBI single by Petik only to see UNCW plate two runs on run-scoring singles by Brown and junior KC Shue to take a 2-1 lead.
The Seahawks doubled their advantage to 3-1 in the bottom of the fifth on a single to center field by Buckworth before the Blue Hose regained the lead in the top of the sixth on a three-run home run by Durham.
UNCW would force extra innings in its final at-bat, taking advantage of a two-out error to bring home freshman Darian Roberts to knot the score at 4-all.
Using the international tie breaker, Presbyterian would take a 5-4 lead in the top of the eighth on a single by Petik. The Seahawks would threaten to tie the game once again in the bottom of the frame, moving a runner to third with one out, but the Blue Hose would retire the next two batters to end the threat and record the one-run victory.
Brown and Buckworth finished with two hits and one run batted in apiece to pace the Seahawks lineup in game two. Shue was credited with the third UNCW RBI in the contest.
Schmidt was the tough-luck loser for the Seahawks, pitching all eight innings and allowing just one earned run on eight hits and three walks. She struck out six.
Freshman Sydney Seigler was credited with the victory for the Blue Hose as she picked up her first victory of the season to move to 1-4 on the campaign. Seigler pitched 3.1 innings and allowed one run on two hits two walks. She struck out four.