Furman Softball Clips Gardner-Webb In Tournament Finale, 7-5

Taylor Vahle
Taylor Vahle

Boiling Springs, N.C. -- Furman plated two runs in the top of the seventh inning and senior Emily DeMonte retired Gardner-Webb on three pitches in the bottom of the frame as the Paladins capped play in the Gardner-Webb University Tournament with a 7-5 victory over the Runnin' Bulldogs on Sunday afternoon.

With the game knotted at 5-5 after six innings, Lauren Duggar worked a leadoff walk in the top of the seventh before stealing second base.  After Gardner-Webb's Brooke Perry retired Casey Bigham, Cammy Pereira laced a go-ahead triple into the gap. Marissa Guimbarda followed with a sacrifice fly to center to drive in Pereira and up the Paladin lead to 7-5.

In the bottom of the seventh, DeMonte needed just three pitches to record three outs and notch her second win of the season. The senior tossed a complete game and issued just one walk to improve to 2-1 in the circle.

Perry (2-1), who allowed seven runs on nine hits over seven innings, took the loss for Gardner-Webb (3-1). She surrendered three walks and struck out nine.

Furman jumped out to a 3-0 lead on Tess Griswold's towering two-run homer to left field in the second inning and Savannah Hughes' two-out, RBI single in the top of the third. Gardner-Webb answered with three runs of its own in the bottom of the third, highlighted by Autumn Owen's two-run blast to center field.

Guimbarda handed Furman the lead once again in the fifth with a single up the middle to score Bigham, but the Paladins' chance for a big inning was thwarted by a triple play. One inning later, Mackense Greico line a triple to the opposite field and raced home on a wild pitch to double the Paladin lead before Calie Thornton's two-run homer in the bottom of the sixth raised the Furman advantage.

Bigham and Vahle collected two hits apiece for the Paladins, while Guimbarda and Griswold each batted in two runs to pace the Paladins' nine-hit attack.

The Paladins (2-3) return to action next Friday at the Plainsman Invitational in Auburn, Ala.. Fans can follow live statistics for next weekend's games through StatBroadcast at FurmanPaladins.com and can find in-game updates via Twitter by following @FurmanSoftball.