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Winstead nears freshman batting record

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WILMINGTON, North Carolina – Sterling pitching performances by freshmen Emily Winstead and Kara Hammock led the way for UNCW as the Seahawks earned a softball series win over Charleston on Saturday at Boseman Field.

The Seahawks improved to 27-10 overall and 9-5 in Colonial Athletic Association action winning both games of a doubleheader. UNCW followed up a 1-0 victory in Game 1 with a 4-2 afternoon triumph over the Cougars, who fell to 9-34 on the season and 3-10 in the homer.

The two coastal rivals round out the three-game set with a Sunday morning noon on FloSoftball.

GAME 1 | UNCW 1, Charleston 0

Winstead (10-3) celebrated his 18th birthday by tying a season-high 13 strikeouts against the Cougars. The 5-8 straight scatter two hits for its second shutout and seventh full game this year.

The Bunn, North Carolina product posted his fourth double-digit batting effort and is five strikeouts away from tying Casey Rowland’s freshman record of 139 punches in a season.

Charleston replied with junior Carli McCants (3-9), who whipped up eight batters in six innings. Both teams combined for five hits in Game 1.

Junior Meadows of Jentri scored the only run of the game in the bottom of the fourth inning when she hit a brace down the left field line that scored Elizabeth Winstead from the first. Winstead worked a full walk to base with two outs per batter earlier.

The Cougars threatened in the top of the seventh with the tie-run and go-ahead on base with two outs after Winstead gave Kayla Gutierrez and Jenna Carter a pair of walks. After a brief visit to the mound, Winstead caused Noel Dominguez to fly into foul territory towards his sister, Emily, to claim the rubber match.

GAME 2 | UNCW 4, Charleston 2

Hammock (10-3) was equally spectacular in the afternoon game. The 6-2 rookie also shot his seventh full game on 98 pitches, allowing four hits and two runs for the Seahawks, who earned their fourth conference series win.

The Seahawks took the lead early, thanks to three consecutive two-out singles by Mackenzie Amodeo, Elizabeth Winsteadand Marie Sobataka. With the bases blocked, Amodeo advanced home on wild pitch to tackle the first inning of the game.

The Cougars evened the score a half inning later when pitcher Payton Lemire, on his first at bat of the season, hit an RBI double through the left-center spread to tag receiver Shealyn Starks from first.

second baseman Taylor Vitola picked a right-hand single to start the bottom of the third, extending his hitting streak to five games. Amodeo then worked a 3-2 walk two batters later. Susie Borda pinch ran for Amodeo and stolen bases by Vitola and Borda put the runners in second and third with one missing. Winstead then hit a dribbler at second base, but the throw went past the sack of first base to tackle Vitola and Borda and make it, 3-1.

The Seahawks added an insurance run in the bottom of the sixth with a sack-fly off the third baseman Anna Knox.

Hammock struck out 15 of the next 16 batters after Lemire’s double in the second inning before first baseman Carsten Puckett fired a 3-2 pitch to the right-field wall for his third home run this season with two outs at the seventh.

Hammock then brought Lemire out safely to Vitola in the second to end the game.

PLAY NOTES: UNCW has eight straight wins over Charleston…Seahawks have stolen 10 sacks in the doubleheader…UNCW is 8-1 in scoring in the first inning…Seahawks are 1-1 in scoring a run this year… UNCW have won 13 of their last 15 home games… Vitola has reached base in 17 straight home games.

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