Softball: Panthers bounce back to gain split of USA South doubleheader with Piedmont

Softball: Panthers bounce back to gain split of USA South doubleheader with Piedmont

LaGrange bounced back with a 5-3 win in Game 2 of its USA South doubleheader with Piedmont at the LaGrange College Softball Complex on Saturday. The Panthers (10-16, 8-4 USA South) were blanked 7-0 in the first game.

"We came away with a huge conference win and I was so proud of how we responded in the second game," said Coach Jennifer Claybrook. "The team's attitude in the dugout  was so supportive and enthusiastic! Chelsea Twardoski pitched an outstanding game and defensiveley we make plays when we had to. Offensively, we had some heads up base running and timely hits. The coaching staff and this team have worked hard to get where we are now. The coaching staff and players appreciate the support we have received from family, the community, and the alumni. It was a fun way to finish the day. Go Panthers!

Game 2- Twardoski (4-6) went the distance on the mound for the Panthers. She overcame adversity in the first inning when two errors led to Piedmont (16-12, 7-1 USA South) taking a 2-0 lead. Twardoski worked out of jams in each of the first four innings, twice having the Lady Lions leave the bases loaded. After giving up a lead off walk in the fifth, she retired the last nine batters in a row. In the sixth, Twardoski retired the side on just three pitches, then closed out the game in the seventh. The Panthers tied the game in their half of the first, benefitting from a pair of Lady Lion errors. LC went up 3-2 in the third, as Carolyn Harkness scored on a wild pitch. Piedmont loaded the bases with no outs in the fourth, but Twardoski got of the jam with just one run scoring. The Panthers built a 5-3 lead with a run in the fifth and another in the sixth. Brittany Todd had a run-scoring single in the fifth, while Sutton Bridges' RBI hit scored Haley Coleman, who lead off the inning with a triple, in the sixth.

Game 1- Piedmont's Melissa Eckman (9-6) threw a complete-game five hitter, striking out seven and not walking a batter. Emily Cauldwell (6-8) took the loss, allowing five runs, only two earned, in five innings of work. Jessica Perkins gave two unearned runs in the two innings. Kelsey Dietz had a double for the Panthers. 

The Panthers host Brevard on Sunday in a doubleheader starting at 1 p.m.