ATLANTA – On the first day of the Panther Invitational, the Georgia State softball team defeated Bowling Great 11-1 before falling to UT-Martin 9-7 at Bob Heck Field on Saturday, Feb. 15.
Callie Alford hit a grand slam to cap an eight run fifth inning by Georgia State to run-rule Bowling Green 11-1. After three scoreless innings, the Panthers grabbed a 3-0 lead in the top of the fourth.
Following a ground out, Kensey Caldwell and Ashley Christy hit back-to-back singles up the middle and Taylor Anderson walked to load the bases. Then, Morgan Brown drove in Caldwell with a groundout to first to give GSU the lead. Lauren Coleman then hit a two-RBI single to left to extend Georgia State’s advantage to 3-0.
In the top of the fifth inning, Megan Litumbe hit a leadoff, solo home run to give the Panthers a four-run lead. Jessica Clifton walked, and then MeQuilla Franklin reached on an error. After a popup, Clifton scored on Ashley Christy’s squeeze-bunt single. Anderson then drove in two runs with a double to left field.
After Brown singled and Coleman reached on a catcher’s interference to load the bases, Callie Alford hit a grandslam to straightaway center to push GSU’s lead to 11-0. Bowling Green scored one run in the bottom of the fifth but starting pitcher Kaitlyn Medlam closed the door to clinch the victory via run-rule.
Medlam went the distance to get the win and improve to 1-0. She allowed two hits and one run in five innings pitched. Lauren Coleman and Ashley Christy each had two hits for the Panthers. Callie Alford drove in four runs, while Coleman and Taylor Anderson each recorded two RBI.
Jamie Kertes gets the loss for Bowling Green and falls to 0-4 this season. Madison Schrock had one hit and the Falcons’ only RBI.
In the second game of the day, Georgia State was defeated by UT-Martin 9-7. Taylor Anderson drove in three runs for the Panthers but it was not enough as GSU suffered its first loss of the season.
The Skyhawks grabbed a 1-0 lead in the top of first after Kayla Wade scored on a Panther error. GSU responded to tie it 1-1 in the bottom half of inning on Megan Litumbe’s sacrifice fly to right field.
In the top of the second, UT-Martin drove in three runs to take a 4-1 lead. After a ground out, Lauren Smith walked to start the rally. Smith was subbed for pinch runner Bella Zizzi, who scored on Deven Wilson’s double down the left field line. The Skyhawks scored a second on a ground out to short, then Kenzi Tate hit an RBI single through the left side to give UT-Martin a three-run lead.
After holding Georgia State scoreless in the bottom of the second, the Skyhawks scored two more runs in the top of the third to push the lead to 6-1. GSU got one run back in the bottom of the frame when Anderson scored after hitting a leadoff triple.
The Panthers scored three more runs in the bottom of the fourth to make it a one run game. MeQuilla Franklin opened the inning with a single. After a ground out, Mallory Koepke reached safely with a bunt single. Anderson then blasted a three-run homer to left to make the score 6-5 to UT-Martin.
Neither team was able to score in the fifth or sixth inning. The Skyhawks scored three times in the top of the seventh to extend their lead to 9-5. In the bottom of the seventh, Coleman drew a one-out walk and Callie Alford singled to put two runners on base. After a pop fly, Jessica Clifton hit an RBI double to right center. Then, Franklin drove in Alford with an infield single. However, the game ended with a popup to left with the tying run at the plate.
Taylor Thorpe was credited with the loss and falls to 1-1 this season. Taylor Anderson led the way for Georgia State with two hits, two runs scored and three RBI. Elizabeth Wiegand earned the win for UT-Martin and improved to 1-0. Deven Wilson drove in three runs on two hits.
The Panthers return to the field Sunday, Feb. 16 to take on Indiana at 10 a.m. to open the second day of the Panther Invitational. GSU will then face ETSU in the final game of the tournament.