WILMINGTON, N.C. - Pinch hitter Erin Toothman delivered a game-winning single in the bottom of the eighth inning in the opener to give UNC Wilmington a 6-5 victory, but East Tennessee State rallied for a 3-2 decision in the nightcap as the two schools split a Southern Conference softball doubleheader Saturday at Boseman Field.
The Lady Seahawks now stand 20-26 overall on the season and 5-10 in the conference. The Lady Bucs own a 10-31 overall mark and 5-11 league ledger.
In the opener, UNCW senior righthander Mandi Westbury went the distance in a pitching duel with ETSU's Tiffany Vandergriff. Westbury allowed five runs on 10 hits, walking two and striking out two to move to 12-10 on the season. Vandergriff, meanwhile, gave up six runs on eight hits, walking two and fanning four.
After UNCW jumped on top, 4-1, with three runs in the bottom of the third, ETSU rallied for three in the top half of the seventh to send the game into extra innings. However, Lauren Mattox singled to lead off the eighth frame, advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Raena Jones and with two outs, came home on a clutch game-winning single by Toothman.
In the nightcap, the two clubs locked horns in another tight contest. UNCW grabbed a 2-1 edge in the bottom of the fourth on Chrissy Bennett's RBI double before ETSU plated two runs in the top of the fifth for the decisive edge. In the fifth, Melonie Collins, Judith St. Clair and Rhea Holler connected on consecutive singles, with Collins and Holler collecting RBI's.
Vandergriff spelled starter Marsha Giles in the fifth for the Lady Bucs and retired the final nine UNCW batters to register the win in the second game. Kelly Givens took the loss for the Lady Seahawks, giving up three runs on eight hits, walking three batters.
On the day, sophomore Vandergriff and St. Clair did most of the damage at the plate for ETSU. Vandergriff went 3-for-7, scored twice and had two runs batted in. St. Clair, meanwhile, went 4-for-7. Mattox was the hitting standout for UNCW, going 3-for-6 with one RBI.
The two teams conclude the three-game weekend series with a 1 p.m. matchup on Sunday.