JSU softball teaser

ATHENS, Ga. — Jacksonville State had a tough opening day of the Georgia Bulldog Classic on Friday, dropping a nine-inning game to North Carolina-Greensboro and a shutout loss to Georgia.

UNCG scored on a ninth-inning error to upend the Gamecocks 3-2 in the opener, and then the No. 14 Bulldogs claimed a 7-0 win with a no-hitter in the day's finale.

In the first game, the Spartans built a 2-0 lead through four innings. JSU cut its deficit in half in the top of the sixth. JSU opened with a single by Caitlyn Sapp. She later scored on Amber Jones' double to right center, making it a 2-1 game.

JSU faced its last chance in the seventh and made the most of it. Taylor Beshears opened the inning with a double into the left centerfield gap. She moved to third on an Alexus Jimmerson single. Hayley Sims’ single through the right side sent the game into extra innings.

Faith Sims worked out of an eighth-inning jam, but the Spartans pushed the winning run across in the ninth. Sims gave way to Jimmerson after issuing a leadoff walk to Marisa Sholtes, who moved to second on a wild pitch and third on Jasmine Palmer's groundout.

Jimmerson got Kayleigh Willis to roll one over to short, but an error off Beshears' glove allowed Sholtes to score the game-winning run.

Sims (3-4) suffered the loss for JSU despite striking out nine batters. She allowed three runs, two earned, on eight hits in her eight innings of work. Jimmerson recorded two outs and didn't allow a hit.

Stephanie Bryden (5-1) earned the win after holding JSU to two runs on seven hits in nine innings of work. She struck out 12 and didn't issue a walk.

The final game of the day saw the 14th-ranked Bulldogs start fast and never look back. They plated three in the first, another in the second and three more in the third to open up a 7-0 lead against Jimmerson.

The pitching duo of Amanda Ablan and Kylie Bass kept the Gamecocks off the board and out of the hit column. The two combined to throw a no-hitter, with the only baserunners coming on five walks issued. Ablan walked four in 2⅓ innings before being pulled for Bass, who walked one in her 4⅔ innings and got the win to improve to 6-0 on the season.

Jimmerson (2-3) suffered the loss after allowing seven runs on five hits and five walks in her 2⅓ innings. Kirsten Titus threw the final 3⅔ innings, holding the Bulldogs scoreless on just two hits and a pair of walks. Titus also struck out three.

The Gamecocks (6-10) and Bulldogs will play again Saturday at 2:30 p.m. JSU also will face Radford on Saturday at 5 p.m.