Lander earns two wins on day one of Gulf Shores Invitational

Lander earns two wins on day one of Gulf Shores Invitational

GULF SHORES, Ala. – The Lander softball team used a 13-hit performance in the season opener against Shorter and four runs over the final two innings against West Georgia to earn a pair of victories on day one of the Gulf Shores Invitational. 

The Bearcats' (2-1) two wins were sandwiched around a 13-2 loss to West Florida (2-0). 

Against Shorter (2-1), Lander's offense broke out for three runs in the bottom of the second. Brianna Surrento homered down the left field line and Delaney Guerrero and Jace Bennefield followed with a pair of RBI singles. The teams traded runs in the third inning as Chandler Carey's RBI single put Lander up 4-1. The Hawks pulled to within 4-3 in the fourth, but Surrento delivered another RBI with a base knock in the fifth and Kelli McCormack's sacrifice fly in the bottom of the sixth gave the Bearcats a 6-3 lead they would not relinquish. 

Freshman Abby Killian (1-0) went the distance in the circle for Lander, scattering eight hits and allowing three runs while recording 11 strikeouts. Jackie O'Reilly (0-1) suffered the loss for Shorter, allowing four runs on six hits in three innings. 

The Bearcats trailed West Florida 4-2 in the third inning, but the Argonauts' nine-run third would put the game away. 

Lander trailed West Georgia (2-1) 5-0 heading to the bottom of the third, but the Bearcats rallied as Sydney Grimes scored on a wild pitch and Ashley Vinson drove home Shannon Antonini with a single. Carey then delivered a sacrifice fly to make the score 5-3. 

Down two in the bottom of the seventh, Surrento led off with a single and Carey drew a one-out walk to put the tying run on base. With two outs, Guerrero doubled to right field to bring home both runs and send the game to extra innings. 

The Wolves reclaimed the lead with a run in the top of the eighth, but Lander put runners on second and third with one out. Antonini's sacrifice fly scored Haven Pesce to knot the score at 6-6 and after a walk to Leah Higginbotham, Sydney Grimes raced home to give the Bearcats a walkoff win. 

Killian (2-0) relieved Ashley Vinson in the eighth inning to get her second win of the day, allowing one unearned run on no hits with a strikeout. West Georgia's Katie Foote (1-1) allowed four runs on six hits in five innings. 

Lander faces Lee at 9:00 a.m. and No. 11-ranked Alabama Huntsville at 11:30 a.m. on Sunday.