ATLANTA - UTA softball fell short in the final at-bats as Georgia State swept a doubleheader at Heck Softball Complex on Saturday.
The Panthers (26-12, 11-3 SBC) walked off in each game as they took at 3-2 win in nine innings in Game 1 and then powered a grand slam in the seventh of Game 2. UTA fell to 19-19 overall and 5-9 in conference play with the pair of set backs.
"I think the girls played hard and competed well," UTA coach Kristie Fox said. "This shows why being the home team is so important in this sport."
The Mavs had their opportunities, leaving a combined 18 runners on base through the pair of games.
"The message was that the line is very thin between a win and a loss, so we need to stay focused and take advantage of every opportunity that we get," Fox said.
Whitney Walton was a bright spot offensively, leading the way with four hits – three coming in Game 2, two RBI and a run scored. Sandra Mendoza joined in with three hits overall to go with a run and RBI.
Georgia State threatened in Game 1 in each of the first two innings, putting rallies together with two outs. However, the third time was the charm as another two-out rally sent across two runs as they made UTA pay for two walks and a hit. The Mavs battled back to get a run back in the fifth and then Shelbi Sikes knocked her first homer of the season to tie the game in the seventh.
The Mavs nearly took the lead in the frame, but a close play at the plate went against UTA to end the threat.
It took Georgia State extras to take the opener. The Panthers loaded the bases and a one out grounded proved to bring in the winning run.
In Game 2 it was the Mavs that got on the board first. Krista Rude was on the positive end of a Laura Curry ground out, scoring from third on the play. Another groundout, this time from Aileen Garcia, brought another across the dish.
Walton's hot bat doubled up the lead with a two-RBI single to bring in Kacey Everett and Mendoza in the fourth.
Georgia State started its comeback in the bottom half with a three-run frame, two coming by the way of a home run.
After Wright and Sikes combined on back-to-back doubles that gave UTA some insurance, the Panthers knocked another base clearer, this time a three-run shot to take the lead.
Bri Burchianti tied the game back up with a pinch-hit single in the seventh on two outs, but GSU used another power shot, a grand slam to sweep the day.
Sam Clakley picked up the loss in Game 1, throwing eight innings, striking out five and allowing two earned runs. Gracie Bogle had the loss in Game 2, throwing 0.1 innings. Sam Montes had a quality start as she pitched six frames to start the game.
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