PEMBROKE — After Georgia College swept The University of North Carolina at Pembroke softball team in a doubleheader on Saturday, head coach Brittany Bennett told her team to use the bad taste in their mouths as motivation to get better.
“I hope they get a little angry about it, get a little salty about it, and take it out on practice this week,” Bennett said. “We’ve had a lot of success. We won nine games in a row. You have to get motivated again.”
The Braves (14-8, 0-2 PBC) saw their win streak come to an end with a 9-6 loss in the series opener before the Bobcats (13-9, 2-0) won the second game, 6-4.
Freshman Tatum Brummitt paced the Braves with 2-for-3 clips at the plate in both games. Brummitt tallied four RBIs in the first game and two in the finale.
“I felt really good and confident going into conference play my first year,” Brummitt said. “Knowing that we have to get people in is an important situation to be in. There’s a lot of pressure. I feel like as a team, we perform better under pressure.”
Malerie Leviner took the loss for the Braves in the first game after allowing seven hits and five runs in 1 1/3 innings of work. Raygan Larson yielded seven hits and four runs in five innings of relief for UNCP, and Brummit tossed a clean two outs to close the game.
Becca Meade picked up the win for Georgia College. Meade gave up nine hits and five runs while walking three and striking out one in 4 2/3 innings.
The Bobcats got on the scoreboard with six runs in the first two innings, but the Braves responded by plating five unanswered runs over the next three frames.
Three of those runs came in the fifth inning and helped the Braves close the gap to 6-5. Alex Watkins walked with the bases loaded to score Haleigh Epperson, and Brummitt followed by plating Taylor Gerhart and Cara Davis with a single up the middle.
The Bobcats struck again on a two-RBI single by Holland Coursey in the seventh inning, and an RBI double by Sutton Long in the seventh cushioned the lead.
A sacrifice fly by Brummitt brought Jamie Johnson home and left the Braves down to their final out. Jessica Auld struck out to end the game.
Epperson and Watkins joined Brummitt with two hits in the game. Caroline Snider went 3-for-5 at the plate with three runs scored to lead the Bobcats.
Breezy Yelton kept the Bobcats off the scoreboard early in the second game of the series, but a two-run homer by Baylee Hall and an RBI single by Caitlyn Davis in the third inning gave Georgia College the lead.
Brummitt came through again for the Braves in the bottom of the inning, notching a two-RBI single that scored Davis and Watkins.
Davis crossed the plate again on an RBI triple by Johnson in the fourth inning.
UNCP got its final run on an RBI single by Gerhart in the sixth inning. Three late RBIs by Hannah Coursey, two coming on a double and another on a bases-loaded walk, helped secure the victory for the Bobcats.
Yelton went six innings in the circle for the Braves and allowed eight hits and five runs while registering one strikeout.
Brummitt yielded one hit and one run while walking three batter in an inning of work.
Jessie Morris earned the win for Georgia College with four hits and one run allowed over 3 1/3 innings. She also tallied four strikeouts.
Hall went 2-for-4 with two RBIs to lead the Bobcats.
“I told the girls after the game that I just feel like those are two games that could have gone either way today, and we were just on the losing side of both of them” Bennett said. “We played great defense today and we hit the ball really well. I just think Georgia College had more timely hits than we did.”
Because of the postponement of today’s doubleheader against Augusta, UNCP will not be in action again until Thursday when it takes on Emmanuel at home in a nonconference doubleheader. First pitch is set for 1 p.m.
Reach Brandon Tester at 910-816-1989 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @Tester_Brandon.