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Furman Softball Settles For Doubleheader Split At ETSU 3-1, 6-7

Tessa Griswold
Tessa Griswold

Johnson City, Tenn. -- Furman claimed a 3-1 victory in Thursday's Southern Conference series opener at ETSU, but the Bucs rallied with two outs in the bottom of the eighth inning to steal a 7-6 decision in game two of the series at Betty Basler Field.

Game 1: Furman 3, ETSU 1
In the series opener, junior Tess Griswold went 3-for-4 and drove in all three Paladin runs to help her team to a 3-1 triumph.

Griswold opened the scoring in the first with a single to left field to plate Cammy Pereira, who led off the game with a base on balls. After Kelly Warren knotted the game at 1-1 on a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the fifth, Griswold provided the heroics in the top of the seventh. Lauren Duggar singled and Pereira was hit by a pitch with one out. Following a lineout by Casey Bigham, ETSU walked Marissa Guimbarda on four pitches. Griswold came through in the bases loaded situation with a first-pitch single to left field to plate two runs.

In the bottom of the seventh inning, starter Emily DeMonte worked around a pair of two out hits to secure the victory. DeMonte held the Bucs to just one run on five hits over seven innings while fanning two batters.

Taylor Boling (7-8) suffered the loss for ETSU allowing three runs on seven hits in a complete game effort. She walked four batters and struck out three.

Game 2: ETSU 7, Furman 6 (8 innings)
ETSU found revenge in the nightcap by rallying twice to stun the Paladins in extra innings, 7-6.

The Paladins grabbed a 4-1 lead in the top of the third inning when ETSU once again walked Guimbarda to get to Griswold. The Holmdel, N.J., product made the Bucs pay again by hammering a three-run blast to left field to put Furman in control.

ETSU trailed 4-2 going to the bottom of the seventh, but three straight singles, a sacrifice bunt and game-tying sacrifice fly by Nikki Grupp helped force extra innings.

Furman looked to be in control again when Bigham drew a leadoff walk in the eighth, moved to third on Gumbarda's double and scored on Griswold's sacrifice fly. Taylor Vahle added another run with a double off the center field wall to give the Paladins a 6-4 advantage.

In the bottom of the inning, ETSU had a runner on second with two outs when Demi Coleman singled to the opposite field to keep the game alive. Lauren Lee reached on an error by the Paladin infield to allow a run to score and put runners at second and third base with two outs. Warren tapped a ball in front of the plate for a single. Catcher Natalie Morgan, trying to catch a runner off of third base, fired a throw towards the base but the ball sailed into left field allowing the tying and winning runs to score.

MacKenzie Dyson (4-4) picked up the win for ETSU despite allowing five runs on six hits and five walks in six innings of work. Julie Fritz went 3-for-3 with a double, while Grupp batted in two runs for ETSU.

DeMonte (9-14) was charged with the loss despite allowing just four earned runs on 10 hits over 7.2 innings. She fanned five batters and walked four.

Griswold, who went 1-for-3 in the nightcap, finished the day with four hits and drove in seven Paladin runs.

Furman (11-30, 3-8 SoCon) and ETSU (18-20-2, 4-7 SoCon) are scheduled to play the rubber game of the three-game SoCon series on Friday at noon. The game will be streamed on the SoCon Digital Network with live statistics available through StatBroadcast.