Breneman's Homer in Nightcap Gives Blue Hens Doubleheader Split With Georgia State
April 21, 2012
• Game 1 Boxscore
• Game 2 Boxscore
File Photo Courtesy of Mark Campbell
NEWARK, Del. -- Blue Hen freshman rightfielder Kaitlyn Breneman (at right) drilled a two-run homer during the bottom of the fourth inning as the University of Delaware softball team posted a 3-1 victory in the nightcap to earn a doubleheader split with Georgia State Saturday afternoon at the UD Softball Stadium.
The Panthers took the opener, 7-0, scoring all of their runs during the top of the sixth inning. Georgia State (33-13, 10-4 CAA), which was coming off a victory over second-ranked Alabama on Tuesday, had its 10-game Colonial Athletic Association win streak snapped during the nightcap.
The Blue Hens (11-36-1, 4-10 CAA) looked to strike first during the opener as Delaware loaded the bases in the first and third innings, but UD could not capitalize and left eight runners on base through the first three frames.
Meanwhile Blue Hen starter Chenxi Jiao shut down the Panthers through the first five innings, before Georgia State broke a scoreless tie by erupting for seven runs during the top of the sixth. Lauren Coleman led off with a triple to left, and Paige Nowacki followed with a two-run homer to put the Panthers on the board.
After the Panthers loaded the bases on a double and two bunt singles, Audrey Mason delivered an RBI single to make it a 3-0 game. Breanna Jennings then took over in the circle for Jiao but the first batter she faced was Emily Althafer, who ripped a two-run double to rightfield. Later in the inning Brenna Morrissey reached on an error by Blue Hen shortstop Alicea Coy, allowing two more Panthers to score to close the scoring.
Georgia State starter Alana Thomas scattered six hits and two walks through five scoreless innings to improve to 11-4 on the year, while Erin Collins gave up one hit in two innings of relief. Jiao, who was charged with six earned runs on 10 hits in five innings of work, took the loss for Delaware, while Jennings allowed one earned run on three hits in the final two frames.
Morgan Culver led a seven-hit Blue Hen attack by finishing 2 for 3 while Jessica Grisler, Coy, Michelle McKinnon, Marisa Newman and Maggie Creciun added a single apiece.
The Panthers then took the early lead in the nightcap, as after Georgia State loaded the bases with two out in the top of the first, Ashley Christy lined a single to centerfield to drive home Jessica Clifton. However Jiao would replace Blue Hen starter Hannah Rust in the second inning and tossed six shutout innings from there.
Delaware pulled even during the bottom of the third when Creciun led off with a triple to left and scored one out later when Coy laid down a squeeze bunt. The following frame Lara Andrews ripped a one-out double to right and Breneman followed by crushing a long home run over the fence in leftcenter to give the Blue Hens a 3-1 advantage.
The Panthers mounted a rally in the top of the sixth, loading the bases with two outs on a pair of singles and a walk. But Jiao then retired Morrissey on a first pitch pop up that Newman caught in foul territory as UD maintained its two-run cushion. Coleman doubled with one out in the seventh, but Jiao then got Nowacki to foul out and Callie Alford to fly out to left to end the game.
Jiao improved to 4-20 after allowing just four hits and two walks in six scoreless frames, while Georgia State starter McCall Langford dropped to 8-6 as she surrendered three earned runs on seven hits in 3.1 innings of work.
McKinnon finished 2 for 3 in the nightcap for the Blue Hens while Breneman had the two RBI on the homer, her third longball of the year.
Delaware and Georgia State are scheduled to play the final game of their weekend series on Sunday at 12 noon, weather permitting.
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