Furman 4, Penn 1
Clearwater, Fla. -- Senior Emily DeMonte tossed seven effective innings and sophomore Marissa Guimbarda launched her fourth home run in the last four games to power Furman to a 4-1 victory over Penn and split of its two games on the opening day of the USF-Clearwater Parks & Recreation Invitational at Eddie C. Moore Softball Complex on Friday.
After falling behind 1-0 in the first inning, Furman grabbed the lead with single runs in the third and fourth innings. Cammy Pereira and Guimbarda opened the top half of the third with singles and Pereira crossed the plate with the tying run on a base hit by DeMonte. Amanda Fleming, who turned a sensational double play to end Penn's threat in the bottom of the third, opened the fourth with a double, moved to third on Lauren Duggar's bunt single and raced home with the go-ahead run on a sacrifice fly by Pereira.
With Furman leading 2-1 through six innings, Pereira was hit by a pitch to open the seventh and Guimbarda, who clubbed three home runs in a twinbill at Georgia Southern on Tuesday, hammered a two-run, opposite field blast to right to up the margin to 4-1.
Two of the first three batters reached base for Penn in the bottom of the seventh, but DeMonte (3-6) induced a fly out and a pop out to the shortstop to shut the door. The right-hander scattered eight hits and did not walk a batter over seven innings of work while fanning one batter.
Pereira finished 1-for-2 with a pair of runs, while Guimbarda went 3-for-4 at the plate and DeMonte contributed a pair of singles and a base on balls.
Julia Longo suffered the loss for Penn (0-2) after allowing three runs on four hits in four and two-thirds innings of relief. Leadoff hitter Emma Nedley, who doubled and scored the Quakers lone run in the first inning, went 3-for-4 and added a triple.
In the opening game of the tournament, Troy's Leanna Johnson and Kynsley Blasingame combined on a three-hit shutout and the Trojans pounded out nine runs on 13 hits to down Furman, 9-0.
Brooke Echols' three-run blast highlighted a four-run top half of the third for the Trojans, who added single runs in the fourth and fifth innings and a pair of scores in the seventh to improve to 13-4 on the season.
Johnson (8-1) fanned six batters without issuing a walk over six innings to earn the victory. Shortstop Hope Hernandez went 4-for-4 at the plate, while Talia Truitt, Madeline Porter and Katie Webb collected two hits apiece.
Starter Mackense Greico (0-4) took the loss for Furman after giving up six runs on six hits in three-plus innings in the circle. She walked one and struck out one. Casey Bigham, DeMonte and Sarah Windham each recorded hits for the Paladins.
Furman continues tournament play on Saturday versus Incarnate Word at 12:30 p.m. and Ball State at 3 p.m. before facing off against Middle Tennessee State on Sunday at 11:15 a.m. Fans can follow live statistics all weekend through StatBroadcast at FurmanPaladins.com and can find in-game updates via Twitter by following @FurmanSoftball.
DeMonte Pitches Paladins Past Penn At USF-Clearwater Parks & Recreation Invitational, 4-1
Furman 4, Penn 1