Five runs in the fourth give Seahawks sweep over Cougars

Morgan Starling, Staff Writer

WILMINGTON, North Carolina – The wind and a four-run deficit weren’t enough to keep UNCW (6-13) from sweeping the Cougars (3-17) at Boseman Field over the weekend.

UNCW took the series with two wins in a Saturday doubleheader, winning 6-3, and 2-1. The Seahawks were forced to rally in Sunday’s game after falling behind 5-1 after the first three innings.

Despite the windy weather and the loud celebrations coming from the Cougar dugout, the Seahawks entered the bottom of the fourth inning ready to take over. After junior catcher Jada Santiago struck out looking, sophomore outfielder, Skylar Stockton came in as a pinch hitter and nailed a triple to left field. Senior Hunter Bizzell then singled to center field to put runners on the corners for junior Logan Bjorson who reached on a fielder’s choice, leading to Bizzell getting out at second, allowing Stockton to score.

The momentum didn’t stop there.

Junior Casey Jones came in to pinch hit for senior catcher Anna Knox, who then pinch ran for Jones when she was hit by a pitch, loading the bases. The error led the Cougars to make a pitching change from sophomore Payton Lemire to senior Kylie Burke, though the change didn’t end the inning like the Cougars hoped, as Burke walked her first batter, scoring another run for the Hawks, and closing the gap, 5-3.

The crowd was growing louder as the Seahawks continued to make their run.

Freshman infielder Charlotte Schultheis came in to pinch hit for freshman Tayler Vitola, who pinch ran for Schultheis after she reached on a fielding error, the Seahawks tying the game 5-5 with two runs off the error. Coaches, players, and fans alike erupted in cheers after the tying run but grew even more ecstatic after junior pitcher/infielder Janel Gamache singled to give the Seahawks the lead, which ultimately became the winning run.

Not only did Gamache give UNCW the lead, but she also closed the game with no hits and five strikeouts in the final three innings.

UNCW will travel to Elon (8-13) next weekend for a three-game series with an 11 a.m. game on Saturday, April 3, and a double-header on Sunday, April 4 at 1 p.m.