CHARLESTON, South Carolina – Sophomore Rachel Willis collected three hits, including her first home run of the season, as UNCW closed out play at the Charleston Southern Buccaneer Invitational by splitting a pair of games at the CSU Softball Field on Sunday afternoon.
The Seahawks, who finished the season-opening weekend with a 3-1 record, started the day with a 6-4 victory over East Tennessee State before dropping a 2-1 decision against the host Buccaneers in eight innings to complete the tournament.
Willis blasted her first home run of the season in the win over ETSU, giving the Seahawks a 1-0 lead with a solo shot in the fourth inning. She also drove in the Seahawks' lone run against Charleston Southern in the eighth inning.
Senior Lauren Moore also added two hits in the doubleheader while scoring a pair of runs.
Junior Sarah Davis earned the win in the circle against East Tennessee State, allowed just one run on two hits over four innings. Sophomore Haley Lenderman fashioned the save after recording the final out with a strikeout in the seventh inning.
Senior Peyton Jordan took the loss in the nightcap despite a complete game effort. She allowed just one earned run on four hits and posted five strikeouts with just one walk.
How It Happened – Game 1: The Seahawks broke a 1-1 tie by scoring five straight runs over the fifth and sixth innings for a 6-1 lead they did not relinquish. Sophomore Anna Hessenthaler singled home a run in the fifth inning while junior Kelsey Bryan drove in two runs with a single in the sixth inning along with a solo home run by sophomore Hannah Adamczyk.
How It Happened – Game 2: All three runs in the game were scored in the eighth inning. A sacrifice fly by Willis gave the Seahawks a 1-0 lead, but Charleston Southern scored twice in the bottom of the frame to earn the victory.
Coach Kristy Norton Says: "Our hitters were too streaky today to take both games. As we head into next weekend, our focus should be on having a hitter's mentality from start to finish. Peyton did well enough to give us a chance, but we have to make adjustments offensively."
Inside the Box Scores: The Seahawks were 7-for-11 in advancement opportunities against ETSU before going 6-for-13 in advancement chances in the second game … UNCW was also 3-for-8 in RBI opportunities in the win over ETSU … The Seahawks did not get their first hit against ETSU until sophomore Rachel Willis' home run to lead off the fourth inning … Jordan retired 12 of 14 hitters with runners on base against Charleston Southern.
#SeahawkStats: The Seahawks finished the weekend with five home runs in four games … They did not hit their fifth home run last season until Mar. 16 against Bryant … Lenderman earned the first save of her college career in the win over ETSU … Willis, Adamczyk and senior Nella Chamblee each reach base safely in all four games this weekend … Willis also hit safely in each of the four games during the tournament … The Seahawks finished the opening weekend with a .297 batting average with five home runs and 17 runs batted in.
Up Next for UNCW: The Seahawks make their Boseman Field debut next weekend by hosting the Hampton Inn University Area Seahawk Softball Classic. UNCW welcomes UMBC, North Texas and Appalachian State to the Port City for the three-day event.