Point Shuts Out MGSU, 4-0 and 1-0; Williams Lays Down Walk-off Bunt in Game 2

Point University (5-7) recorded its third shutout victory in its last four games, defeating Middle Georgia State University (4-6), 4-0 and 1-0, in nonconference collegiate women’s softball action on West Point Park Field, Wednesday, Feb. 21.

GAME ONE: Junior right-hander Ryan Simpson (Valley, AL) used 81 pitches to subdue Middle Georgia State and scattered five singles, allowed one walk and struck out two batters in a seven-inning complete game, her second of the season, and first shutout win. Simpson (2-2) lowered her teamleading earned-run average to 1.91 with 18 strikeouts and just five walks in 33 innings.

Simpson worked out of a first-inning jam, leaving runners on second and third bases, and retired MGSU in order in the second and third innings, and allowed a lead-off single in the fourth. She allowed a one-out single in the fifth inning, but the runner took off for second base on a steal attempt and was erased on a double play pop fly to shortstop. Simpson allowed a harmless single in the sixth inning and a single down the left-field line in the seventh, and Point’s defense recorded a second double play when the last batter, Maggie Burkhalter, lined out to junior shortstop Jordan Hamilton (Newnan, GA), who threw in time to first base to retire the base runner.

MGSU right-hander Meagan Coleman (3-2) allowed five hits, one walk and four earned runs in six innings of work. Point pushed across one run on one hit, a two-out RBI double to deep leftfield by junior first baseman Shea Pendley (Chatsworth, GA) with one out; a walk and two sacrifice bunts. Pendley now leads the team with three doubles, two home runs, nine RBI and a .353 batting average. She has hit safely in five consecutive games and nine of Point’s 12 games this season.

The Skyhawks struck for three runs on four hits and a double steal of home plate and second base in the bottom of the fourth inning. After the first two batters made routine outs, senior catcher Brooke Williams (Valley, AL) dropped a single into centerfield and advanced to second base on a single to right by freshman rightfielder Heather Cook (Roanoke, AL), and scored on a single to right field by junior second baseman Molly White (Watkinsville, GA), making the score 2-0.

Cook and White executed perfectly on a double steal of home plate and second base for a 3-0 lead, and White scored from second base on a single to right field by freshman third baseman Hannah Rogers (Midland City, AL).

GAME TWO: The score remained tied at 0-0 through the first 6-1/2 innings until pinch-hitter Brooke Williams laid down a perfect squeeze bunt with Heather Cook scoring from third base with one out, giving Point the 1-0 walkoff victory.

Sophomore Allie Beilstein (Montgomery, AL) also pitched a seven-inning shutout, her fourth complete game of the season and first shutout, and improved her record to 34 and lowered her earnedrun average to 2.52 with 24 strikeouts and just five walks in 41-2/3 innings. She allowed just two singles and one walk and struck out none.

Beilstein retired the first 14 Knights in the game, until pinch-hitter Vonteria Smith singled to shallow left with two outs in the top of the fifth inning. A walk to Burkhalter put runners on first and second, but Beilstein retired the side on a routine grounder to second base. MGSU’s second hit of the game came in the top of the sixth inning, but the runner was stranded at first base. Beilstein retired the first two batters in the seventh and last inning and then allowed a base runner on an error at third base before Burkhalter fouled out to Pendley, who made a diving play near the first-base dugout for the out. Point totaled six hits, three by Cook, against losing pitcher Harley Roberts (1-4). Roberts walked just one and struck out none in 6-1/3 innings. Cook was instrumental in the winning rally for Point, leading off the inning with an infield single. She raced to second base on a wild pitch and took third base on White’s sacrifice bunt. Williams laid down a suicide squeeze bunt with Cook sprinting home on contactforthewin. Williams earned a single and her first RBI of the season on the play.

Junior designated player Lacy Striblin (Valley, AL) led off the sixth inning with a double down the left-field line, and Cook doubled down the leftfield line in the second inning for Point’s extra-base hits in the game.

NEXT GAMES: Point plays a non-conference doubleheader at Albany State University (Ga.), Friday, Feb. 23, at 2 p.m.