Medlam makes history while Panthers clinch No. 3 spot in tournament

Kaitlyn Medlam delivers a pitch versus UNCW on April 13. Medlam started the first game of the doubleheader, earning the win in an 8-2 victory, and pitched 2.2 innings of scoreless relief in the second game. Rhett Lewis | THE SIGNAL

Georgia State softball concluded its regular season Saturday afternoon with a series win against Western Kentucky to clinch the third seed in the Sun Belt Conference tournament.

The Panthers won two of three of its weekend series against the Western Kentucky Lady Toppers at the Robert E. Heck Softball Complex in Panthersville, Ga.

Senior pitcher Kaitlyn Medlam earned two wins in the series to push her career total to 62, the most careers wins in the program’s history.

The Panthers travel to Lafayette, La. Wednesday for the conference tournament. They will face the winner of the first round matchup between the six and seven seeds.

The Panthers’ regular season ended with a record of 30-25, 12-9 in the Sun Belt.

Game 1

The Panthers defeated the Lady Toppers 3-2 in the first game of the series Friday as Taylor Anderson scored two RBIs to give the Panthers the edge.

Western Kentucky struck first in the top of the first inning when third baseman Preslie Cruce hit a solo home run.

The game remained 1-0 Lady Toppers until the bottom of the fourth. Mandy Blackwell reached base with a single, then advanced to third when right fielder Bethany Oglesby misplayed a pop up, allowing MeQuilla Franklin to reach base.

After Ashley Christy was brought in to pinch run for Blackwell, Jessica Clifton singled to drive in Christy and put the Panthers on the board to tie the game.

Anderson then singled to plate Franklin and give Georgia State a 2-1 lead. Anderson also extended the Panthers’ lead to 3-1 on a solo home run in the bottom half of the sixth inning.

Catcher Jacqueline McGill hit a home run in the top of the seventh to cut the Western Kentucky deficit to 3-2. The Lady Toppers would get two more on base in the frame, but their rally fell short.

Kaitlyn Medlam picked up her 61st win of her career, which tied the all-time Georgia State record.

Game 2

Georgia State clinched the No. 3 seed in the Sun Belt tournament with a come from behind victory in the first game of Sunday’s double header.

The Lady Toppers opened the game with three runs from four singles.

Brooke Holloway singled to drive in Olivia Watkins to give Western Kentucky a 1-0 lead. Then, a bunt from McGill plated Shawna Sadler to increase the lead to 2-0. Amanda Thomas’ bloop-single drove in the Lady Toppers’ third run of the inning.

Georgia State answered with four in the bottom half with solo homers from Anderson and Kensey Caldwell, as well as a two-run blast from Megan Litumbe.

Western Kentucky tied the game twice in the second and fourth innings pushing the game into extra innings.

After the Lady Toppers were retired in order in the top of the eighth, Litumbe doubled to start the Georgia State half of the inning followed by a walk to Franklin.

Pinch hitter Taylor Thorpe hit a single to right to score Litumbe and clinch the series victory for Georgia State.

It was Medlam’s 62nd win for her career setting a new all-time school mark for victories. She entered the game in the fifth inning with the game tied at four to relieve starter Eron Milton.

Prior to the game, the team’s three seniors—Franklin, Clifton, and Medlam—were honored for their careers at Georgia State.

Game 3

Western Kentucky claimed the final game of the series despite the Panthers chipping away at the Lady Toppers’ big lead to fall 9-7 Saturday night.

A RBI double from left fielder Kelsie Mattox and a three-run home run from Cruce put the Lady Toppers ahead 4-0 in the second.

Following back-to-back solo homers from Litumbe and Franklin, Western Kentucky got both runs back in the top of the third on a misplayed grounder off the bat of McGill. They extended their lead back to four.

The lead became 8-3 in the top of the fifth when Kaylan Davis drove in a run and also scored on a wild pitch.

The Panthers responded in the bottom half with two walks and two singles that would eventually score Callie Alford and make the game 8-4. Georgia State left the bases loaded in the inning.

In the top of the sixth, Thomas’ hit an RBI double that scored Holloway and extended the Lady Toppers’ lead to 9-4.

Then, a solo home run from Caldwell to bring the Panthers to within 9-5. Coleman doubled then scored on a Blackwell single to make the game 9-6. A single from Litumbe scored Blackwell to put the score at 9-7.

Georgia State loaded the bases in the bottom of the seventh inning, but would not capitalize for a second time in the game letting Western Kentucky hold on for the win.

After the game, Medlam was presented with her record-breaking 62nd win ball by head coach Roger Kincaid.