Softball defeats Kennesaw State via run-rule

Georgia State softball’s second midweek home matchup Thursday resulted in a 11-3 run-rule victory over the Kennesaw State Owls at the Heck Softball Complex. The Panthers’ record now stands at 23-7 on the season.

Highlighting the day for the Panthers was senior third baseman Callie Alford, in the first inning of play hitting her 32nd career homer, tying the all-time Georgia State record.

Alford’s ball sailed over the fence in the Panthers’ half of the first after Taylor Anderson led off the frame with a walk and Ashley Christy singled, moving Anderson to second. Alford’s ninth homer plated herself along with Anderson and Christy as Georgia State took a 3-0 lead.

The lead increased to 4-0 as Lauren Coleman sailed a homer over the right field fence in the bottom of the third.

The Owls scored a pair in the top of the fourth. Junior infielider Megan Veringa led off the inning with a walk before advancing to second on a wild pitch. Junior infielder Kara Chambers singled, and advanced to second as Veringa moved to third.

Redshirt Kennesaw State catcher Courtney Sutter lined out, but scored Veringa for the Owls’ first run. Chambers moved to third on a foul out, then freshman outfielder Noelle Winkles hit an RBI double, scoring Chambers and cutting the Owls’ deficit to 4-2.

Georgia State responded with two in the bottom of the fourth. Morgan Brown singled, then Anderson was hit by a pitch, putting runners at first and second. Brown and Anderson later advanced one base each, putting two runners in scoring position. Ivie Drake followed that up with a two-RBI single as Brown and Anderson found home and the Panthers’ lead became 6-2.

With one out in the bottom of the fifth, Mandy Blackwell singled before Taylor Bradley pinch ran for her. She later advanced to second on a wild pitch. Anderson singled with two out, plating Bradley and extending Georgia State’s lead to 7-2.

Kennesaw State had two out in the top of the sixth before Winkles drew a walk. Sophomore infielder Lauren Bennett also drew a walk, as Winkles advanced to second. Bennett went to second and Winkles found third on a wild pitch before another bad pitch allowed Winkles to score, making it a 7-3 ball game. Bennett also went to third.

The Panthers placed the game away in the bottom of the sixth. Alford and Megan Litumbe drew walks before Brenna Skalski pinch ran for Litumbe. Coleman singled, scoring Alford and increasing the Panthers’ lead to 8-3. Kensey Caldwell then drew a walk, loading the bases.

Blackwell singled, driving in Skalski for a 9-3 Georgia State lead. Anderson was responsible for the second out of the inning, but it plated Coleman, upping the advantage to 10-3. Christy followed up with a double as Caldwell found home, completing the 11-3 run-rule victory for the Panthers.

Taylor Thorpe earned her 11th victory of the season, increasing her record to 11-1. She pitched five innings, gave up seven hits, and two runs. Sophomore Owls pitcher Logan Viers was credited with the loss as her record stands at 3-3. She only pitched two-thirds of an inning, gave up two hits, and three runs.

Georgia State resumes Sun Belt play as they host South Alabama at the Bob Heck Softball Complex in Panthersville for a three-game series. They begin with a doubleheader this Saturday, starting at 1 p.m.