STATESBORO, Ga. – The Army West Point softball team used two runs in the top of the seventh inning to defeat Georgia Southern, which entered the contest with a record of 3-0, by a score of 7-5. This is the Black Knights’ first 4-1 start to a season since 2011.
With the score tied knotted a five a piece in the top of the seventh, Megan Muffett sent a sharply hit ball to Georgia Southern’s third baseman, who was unable to corral it. Madi Gilmore came around to score from second base on the error. Alicyn Grete then sent home Brooke Tuttle to give Army the two-run lead on the next at bat with sacrifice fly to right field.
The Eagles jumped out to an early 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first after Bailee Wilson poked a 2 RBI single out to right field. After that, Grete struck out the next four batters she faced.
The Black Knights found themselves in a bit of off a jam in the bottom of the third. Georgia Southern had runners in scoring position with just one out. Wilson flew out to right field and strong throw from Grace Snyder to plate held the runners at second and third. After walking the next batter to load the bases, the Cadets got out of the jam unscathed.
Snelling went yard to lead off the fourth inning, jumping on the second pitch of the bat and launching over the fence in dead center field. The homer cut Georgia Southern’s lead to 2-1.
Army took the lead in the top of the fifth with a strong two-out rally. After Livingston reached on an error to start the inning, the next two Army batters were retired. Snelling worked a walk and then stole second base with Gilmore at the plate. Gilmore ripped a shot down the left field line on a 2-2 count, which scored Livingston and Snelling to push Army ahead 3-2. Later on in the inning, Emily Ballesteros hit home Gilmore with an RBI single up the middle to make the score 4-2.
Georgia Southern got a run back in bottom half of the fifth. Mekhia Freeman started off the inning with a double to the gap in left center field. She later came around to score on an RBI single from Wilson to cut Army’s lead to 4-3.
In the top of the sixth, Drayton knocked in Livingston with an RBI single up the middle of the field with two outs put Army ahead 5-3.
The Eagles loaded the bases with no outs in the bottom half of the sixth. They managed to score two runs to tie the game at 5-5 heading into the seventh.
Army earned back its two-run lead with Tuttle and Gilmore rounding the bases. Jolie Duong came on for the save in the bottom of the seventh. After surrendering a lead off double, the Black Knights recorded three straight outs.
The Black Knights travel to Lake Elsinore, Calif., this weekend to compete in the Golden State Classic.