Seahawks Edge Gaels In Blast Finale
Courtesy: UNCW Athletic Communications
WILMINGTON, North Carolina -Freshman Erin Brown recorded a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the eighth inning to break a 2-all tie and lead UNCW to a 3-2 victory over Iona in the UNCW Beach Blast Sunday at Boseman Field.
The Seahawks closed out the season-opening tournament with a 3-2 record while the Gaels finished the weekend with a 1-4 mark. UNCW returns to action Friday as it opens the Florida Lipton Invitational with games against Western Carolina (9 a.m.) and the host Gators (4 p.m.).
"Today was a fantastic team win for our club," said UNCW Head Coach Kristy Norton. "Our bench really showed up as we had solid innings from (Darian) Roberts and (Jordyn) Schmidt. Schmidt showed an extreme amount of confidence today in the circle.
Sophomore Casey Rowland and freshman CJ Moose tallied two hits apiece to pace a UNCW lineup that finished with seven hits in the contest. Brown, Moose and senior Lauryn Buckworth drove in the three UNCW runs.
"(Lauryn) Buckworth really came through as a bat off the bench and when our seniors perform well, that will benefit the entire team, said Norton. "Freshman Erin Brown was clutch. She took care of our three rookie pitchers today first and foremost. To top it all off she didn't act like a rookie when she stepped up to the plate in extra innings and brought home the game winner."
Senior Beth Kaan was 1-for-2 with a solo home run to lead the Iona attack. Junior Katie Jansson went 2-for-4 with a RBI while sophomore Carly Argyle was 2-for-3.
Kaan put Iona up 1-0 in the top of the second, opening the frame with a leadoff home run to left field.
The Gaels threatened to expand their lead in the fourth, using a walk, a hit by pitch and a single to load the bases with one out. Freshman pitcher Kayla Pine and the Seahawks were able to work out of the jam, recording a strikeout and a flyout to keep it a one-run contest.
Iona once again looked to add to its advantage in the fifth, loading the bases with two outs, only to see Moose keep the Gaels off the board with a diving catch in right to end the frame.
Iona extended the contest in the top of the seventh. The Gaels opened the frame with a single and an error and moved both runners into scoring position with no outs. Sophomore Jordyn Schmidt would retire the next two batters to bring the possible final batter to the plate, but Jansson would single to the shortstop to tie the game at 2-all.
With the international tie breaker rule in effect, Iona would look to take the lead in the top of the eighth as it loaded the bases with no one out, only to see Schmidt retire the next three batters in order to keep the game tied.
In the bottom half of the frame, the Seahawks moved the placed runner to third on a sacrifice bunt and had Wagner reach base on a fielder's choice to bring up Brown, who lifted a 2-0 pitch to right field to score sophomore Jessica Rappe and give the Seahawks the win.
Schmidt picked up the victory in the circle for UNCW to even her season mark at 1-1. Schmidt pitched two innings of shutout relief, allowing just one hit. Argyle took the loss for the Gaels to move to 1-2 on the young season. Argyle allowed three runs (one earned) on seven hits and three walks in 7.2 innings of work. She struck out six.
UNCW Beach Blast Day Three Recap
Nebraska-Omaha 5, Detroit 2
UNCW 3, Iona 2 (8 innings)