TOWSON, Maryland - UNCW split its series-opening doubleheader with Towson, winning in the opener, 3-0, and falling short in its comeback bid in the second, 6-5, in Colonial Athletic Association softball action Saturday afternoon at the Tiger Softball Complex.
The Seahawks moved to 7-33 on the year and 2-9 in conference play. The Tigers have compiled a 19-22 overall record and a 4-7 CAA ledger.
UNCW claimed the opening contest, 3-0, behind a stellar performance from senior pitcher Amanda Davenport. The Raleigh, N.C., native hurled a complete game shutout, allowing just four hits and striking out four to boost her record to 6-16.
Towson junior Katie Lingmai also had a good outing in the circle, holding the Seahawks scoreless until the seventh inning, when UNCW posted three runs on four hits. Lingmai fell to 11-9 on the year.
Freshman Jordan Critcher got the Seahawks going in the decisive final inning with a one-out single up the middle. Junior Lauryn Buckworth, who was 5-for-7 on the day with three RBI while playing in her home state, notched a single to put runners on first and second, before senior Stacey Pinno drove a double to left field to score a run.
After senior Kelsey Eddinger drew a walk to load the bases, senior Laura Sykes hit into a fielder's choice as Buckworth was forced out at home.
But despite the two outs, freshman Kristen Jernigan took advantage, lining a double down the left field line to score Eddinger and Pinno and give UNCW some cushion. Davenport then retired the Tigers in the bottom of the seventh to polish off the Seahawk victory.
In the second game, UNCW fell just short in its comeback bid, as junior Olivia Poplin, who represented the tying run, was tagged out at home plate to end the contest.
The Seahawks notched two runs in the final inning to make the score 6-5, but Poplin was thrown out at home trying to score from second off a Pinno single by Towson senior Erika Stasch.
After allowing two Towson runs in the opening inning, senior Ashley Shingleton scored on a passed ball in the top of the fourth to get UNCW on the board. The Seahawks then took the lead off a two-run home run from Buckworth in the sixth which bounced off the top of the wall before clearing the fence.
But the Tigers responded in the bottom of the sixth with four runs on three hits and an error, taking a 6-3 lead into the seventh.
A double from sophomore Camry Wagner followed by a single from Shingleton put runners on the corners with one out. One batter later, Buckworth continued her stellar outing with a double to score two runs and pull the Seahawks within one. But that was when Poplin, who was pinch-running for Buckworth, attempted to score before Stasch gunned her down at home.
Freshman pitcher Casey Rowland was tagged with the loss in the contest, falling to 1-17 on the year. Freshman Missy McCormick earned the win and climbed to 5-7 overall.
UNCW concludes its series against Towson Sunday at 1 p.m.