Night Hawks take one from No. 17 Knights

Mar. 12—COLUMBUS — The Thomas University softball team split against the Knights of No. 17 Middle Georgia State University in an SSAC doubleheader matchup on Friday afternoon. MGSU won the opener 6-0, with Thomas coming back for a 10-4 win in the second game.

In the bottom of the first inning of game one, the Knights struck first to plate four runs on four hits. In the following inning, they plated an additional run on two hits. Then, in the bottom of the third inning, they plated one final run to lead the Night Hawks 6-0.

In relief, Alissa Mankiewich prevented the Knights from producing any additional runs. In four innings of work in the circle, Mankiewich allowed just four hits and zero earned runs.

Despite Mankiewich's effort and several scoring opportunities, the Night Hawks left seven base runners stranded and fail to produce a run. The Knights took game one, 6-0.

The second contest began similarly to game one. In the bottom of the first inning, the Knights plated three early runs courtesy of a three-run home run.

Kennedy Hardy provided a large response for the Night Hawks in the top of the third inning. With Sheppard on third base, Hardy sent a line drive shot over the left field fence to cut the deficit to 3-2.

The Knights struck once more in the bottom of the fourth inning, by plating one run on two hits.

Trailing 4-2, Kennedy Hardy provided the response yet again. With Sheppard and Grace Hodges in scoring position, Hardy smashed a two-RBI single to even the score at four apiece.

The Night Hawks would carry this momentum to the following inning. In the top of the sixth, AnnMarie McAfee kickstarted the inning with a leadoff single.

Hailie Stewart followed with a bunt single, then an Elizabeth Soto RBI single allowed Lauren Hicks, who pinch ran for McAfee, to score. Ansley Eason then produced a two-RBI single to further the Night Hawk lead, 7-4.

The Night Hawks had more to show in the top of the seventh inning.

A McAfee walk, Stewart single, and Soto hit-by-pitch loaded the bases. With the bases loaded, Ashton Lewis grounded out to second base allowing McAfee to score. Averie Sheppard then provided the final surge with a two-RBI single that gave the Night Hawks a six-run advantage, 10-4. The Knights would not recover.

Sierra Ussery was credited with the win for the Night Hawks. In seven innings of work, Ussery held the 17th-ranked Knights to just seven hits and four earned runs.

In the contest, the Night Hawks outhit the Knights 12-7. Seven different Night Hawks recorded a hit.

The Night Hawks will be back in action on March 15th to take on the Eagles of Faulkner University. The SSAC matchup will feature a doubleheader beginning at 4 p.m. in Montgomery, Alabama.