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Furman Softball Drops Saturday Doubleheader Versus UNCG 9-0, 4-1

Tess Griswold
Tess Griswold

Greenville, S.C. -- UNCG's Stephanie Bryden and Kylie Bouplon combined to limit Furman batters to a run on five hits as the Spartans claimed a 9-0, 4-1 doubleheader sweep of the Paladins in Southern Conference softball action Saturday afternoon at Pepsi Stadium.

Game 1: UNCG 9, Furman 0 (6 innings)
Bryden opened the day for the Spartans (23-12, 6-2 SoCon) by holding Furman (10-24, 2-6 SoCon) to just a fourth-inning double while her offense used two big innings to cruise to a 9-0 victory in game one.

The right-hander fanned eight batters without issuing a walk in six shutout innings to improve to 16-6 in the circle. She retired the first 10 batters she faced but Paladin pitcher Mackense Greico spoiled the bid for a perfect game with a bloop double to left field.

Leadoff hitter Makenna Matthijs was hit by a pitch to start the game and scored on a wild pitch to give the Spartans a 1-0 lead. In the second inning, she came to the plate with one out and two runners on and belted a three-run homer to center field to extend the margin to 4-0. The Spartans' centerfielder singled again to leadoff the sixth inning and ignite a five-run rally that helped trigger the mercy rule after six innings.

Matthijs finished 2-for-4 with three RBIs and three runs scored, while Melanie Darges notched two hits and a walk.

Greico (2-10) took the loss for the Paladins after surrendering nine runs on nine hits in six innings. She allowed eight walks and struck out one.

Game 2: UNCG 4, Furman 1
In the nightcap, Bouplon held Furman to one run on four hits in a complete-game effort to claim the victory and improve to 6-4 in the circle.

Furman jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first when Casey Bigham worked a two out walk and scored on Marissa Guimbarda's triple into the right field corner. The lead lasted until the top of the third. UNCG's Monica Pepe drew a leadoff walk and scored the tying run on Matthijs' RBI single to right-center field.

Katie Stettler opened the top of the sixth with a solo home run to put UNCG in front. The Spartans added insurance the following inning by taking advantage of back-to-back walks to start the frame and scoring runs on a wild pitch and RBI single by Gabi Howard with two outs.

Guimbarda (0-3) absorbed the loss after allowing four runs on five hits over seven innings. She walked six batters and fanned one.

The weekend series concludes with a single game at 1 p.m. on Sunday. The contest will be streamed lived on the SoCon Digital Network and live statistics will be available through StatBroadcast. Links for both can be found at Admission is free.