GMC's opener in this year's NJCAA softball tournament was a forgettable one, the Bulldogs losing 11-3 on Wednesday to second-seeded Salt Lake at the Canyons Complex in St. George, Utah.
The Bulldogs came back late and beat Chattanooga State, the 10th seed and a 5-4 loser earlier to San Jacinto-South, 5-4 in an elimination game Thursday evening. The Bulldogs scored five runs in the bottom of the sixth and held on.
Then GMC and Howard battled in another elimination game Thursday night, with Howard (Texas) ending GMC’s 47-17 season with a 16-8 win.
Only five of Salt Lake's runs were earned, thanks to seven GMC errors. The defensive problems overshadowed Natalie Johnson's game. She had a homer and two RBI, while Carly Rigsbee also had a pair of hits.
Never miss a local story.
Salt Lake put GMC in an early hole with four runs in the first inning, although the Bulldogs bounced back with two in the second. Salt Lake all but sealed it with a four-run third inning.
Middle Georgia State season ends
Seven runs in its final two at-bats lifted Hope (California) International to a 12-11 win Wednesday over Middle Georgia State in the NAIA baseball tournament in Lima, Ohio.
The loss ended the Knights' season at 46-16.
The loss followed a win earlier in the day as the Knights played their fourth elimination game in two days. Hope beat Middle Georgia State 4-2 on Monday.
The Knights led Hope 7-5 after six, but managed only two runs in the seventh to Hope's four in the seventh and three in the eighth.
Middle Georgia rallied with two in the ninth.
Andy Mocahbee had three hits and four RBI for the Knights, while Jack Bell IV and Haydn Nechanicky added two hits each. Bell, Nechanicky and Will Golden each had two RBI.
Middle Georgia State knocked off tournament host Northwestern Ohio 13-6 earlier Wednesday.
Golden had three hits, with Mocahbee and Bell adding two each. Nechanicky had three RBI, with Logan Smith and Bell driving in two each.
The 46 wins is most for the program since 2012 when Middle Georgia was still a junior college program.
Mercer’s Rud earns regional honor
Mercer’s Meghan Rud was honored Thursday by being named to the All-South Region third team by the National Fastpitch Coaches Association.
Rud is one of 667 players from 175 programs to earn NFCA all-region honors, and is one of only three Southern Conference players to receive the honor alongside Lindsey Bert of Furman and Shelby Maze of Samford.
A junior last spring, Rud led the Bears with a .393 batting average — the eighth-best mark in program history — and set a school record with 38 stolen bases. Her 76 hits this season was 14th nationally and second in the SoCon while her batting average was second in the league and 75th nationally.
She’ll enter her senior season just four stolen bases away from becoming the all-time leader in career steals at Mercer, finishing this season with 90 career stolen bases. Her career stolen base percentage of .900 is second all-time at Mercer, just below Christine Hall’s .914 mark from 1998-2001.
Georgia College’s Coursey tabbed
The Division II Conference Commissioners Association softball All-Southeast Region teams were recently announced, with Georgia College junior second baseman Hannah Coursey taking a spot on the second team.
This is Coursey’s first all-region honor, coming aftermarks the first career All-Region honor for Coursey, after taking an All-Peach Belt Conference (PBC) First Team spot in April.
She was one of the top performing second basemen in the region, finishing her junior campaign with a .340 average, 26 runs scored and 28 RBI. Coursey is the first D2CCA All-Region honoree for Georgia College at second base.
Wesleyan restores cross country
After a four-year hiatus, Wesleyan is bringing back its cross country program this fall.
Alex Kosicki, head coach of the Wolves tennis program, will serve as the team's head coach.
"As the Wesleyan Athletic Department continues to grow, adding cross country back to our intercollegiate offerings seemed to be a natural step," associate athletics director Nicky DiMarzio said in a news release. "We have already gained student, faculty, staff, and administrative support and interest and believe cross country will be one of our most competitive teams."