|UNCW Falls Twice In CSU Invitational|
CHARLESTON, South Carolina - The UNCW softball team fell to Valparaiso, 16-1, and No. 7 Tennessee, 9-1, in opening day action at the CSU Buccaneer Invitational Friday at Buccaneer Field.
UNCW moved to 6-9 on the season with the pair of losses. The Seahawks close out their appearance in the CSU Buccaneer Invitational Saturday with games against No. 7 Tennessee (9 a.m.) and host Charleston Southern (1 p.m.).
Against Valparaiso, the Crusaders jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the top of the first on a two-run home run from Brittany Duncan and added five runs on four hits and an error in the second to build a 7-0 cushion.
A four-run third and a three-run fourth would expand the Valparaiso lead to 14-0 before the Seahawks would get on the board in the bottom of the frame on a bases loaded walk to sophomore Jessica Rappe 14-1. The Crusaders added two more runs in the top of the fifth to determine the final margin.
Senior Lauryn Buckworth and sophomore Jordan Critcher accounted for the Seahawks' two hits in the contest as Valparaiso hurler freshman Taylor Weissenhofer scattered two hits and six walks over five innings to even her season mark at 2-2. Weissenhofer finished with seven strikeouts.
Sophomore Brittany Duncan was 3-for-4 with five RBI and freshman Kaitlyn Ranieri went 3-for-5 with two runs batted in to power a potent Crusaders lineup that finished the contest with 13 hits.
Versus Tennessee, the Lady Vols took a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first on run-scoring hits by senior Lauren Gibson and junior Madison Shipman and added to their advantage with four runs on a RBI groundout and a three-run home run by sophomore Cheyanne Tarango in the bottom of the third to build a 6-0 advantage.
Senior Olivia Poplin would get the Seahawks on the board in the top of the fourth, doubling down the left field line to bring home junior KC Shue and make it a 6-1 contest.
Tennessee would add three more runs in the bottom of the fifth on a pair of run-scoring singles by Tarango and freshman Lexi Overstreet to make it a 9-1 contest and evoke the eight-run rule.
Erin Gabriel allowed just two hits - the single to Shue and the double to Poplin in back-to-back at bats in the top of the fourth - in five innings of work to remain undefeated on the season at 3-0. Gabriel did not issue a walk as she struck out five.
Tarango went 2-for-4 with four RBI and Overstreet was 2-for-3 with two runs batted to guide a Lady Vols lineup that recorded nine hits in the contest.