Lady Barons sweep Faulkner on way to GACC tournament

MOUNT VERNON -- Senior Ali Furgala drove in all three runs in leading the Brewton-Parker College softball team to 2-0 and 1-0 victories Saturday over Faulkner University (Ala.) at the Brewton-Parker field in the Lady Barons' final Georgia-Alabama-Carolina Conference doubleheader.

Brewton-Parker thus avenged a pair of one-run losses to Faulkner, which had a pair of 2-1 wins in Montgomery, Ala., on March 31.

The wins gave Brewton-Parker a 9-11 GACC record and a 34-15 mark overall heading into the conference postseason tournament Friday and Saturday at Lagoon Park in Montgomery.

The Lady Barons, as the No. 4 seed, play No. 5 seeded Southern Wesleyan University (5-15 GACC, 14-32 overall) at 10 a.m. Friday. Brewton-Parker won three of the teams' four games.

The winner plays GACC regular-season champion, top-seeded and No. 15 ranked North Georgia College and State University (17-0, 44-5 before Monday's game at Faulkner) at 2 p.m. Friday, and the loser plays at 5 p.m. against the 2 p.m. loser. The championship game is Saturday at 5 p.m.

"We got a good seed," said Lady Barons coach Jason Bryant, whose team gave North Georgia its toughest outing of the GACC campaign with a 4-3 loss in 11 innings on April 12.

"If we can win the first game, we might be able to do some damage, but the first one is big. We are heading in with some momentum. I believe this is the most conference wins and the highest seed we have had in fast-pitch. This has been a tremendous year."

Bryant credited solid pitching and defensive play as keys to winning Saturday, along with Furgala's timely three RBI.

Senior Alissa Vogt led off the first game with a double and scored the first run on Furgala's hit, then Furgala singled home freshman Ashley Todd in the fifth inning for the insurance run. Senior Lyndsay Gomme (11-5) pitched a complete-game victory.

In the second game, Vogt drew a first-inning leadoff walk and scored on Furgala's single for the game's only run. Vogt ended the game on a diving stop at third and putout to first with a runner on third.

"(Freshman shortstop) Rachael Harper saved us one time with a big stop, and Ashley Todd made a huge play by catching a foul ball over the fence," Bryant said in noting other big defensive plays.

The sweep of Faulkner (30-20, 12-5 GACC before Monday's make-up game) followed a non-conference doubleheader split Thursday against Wesleyan College, in which the Lady Barons won the first game 3-1 before Wesleyan took the nightcap 4-2.

Freshman Emily Woodard (5-0) earned the win after pitching the first three innings and Gomme earned a save by tossing the final four innings. Gomme also threw 6-1/3 innings of relief in the second game of sophomore Aislyn MacLeod (2-2) after Wesleyan struck early.

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Brewton-Parker College senior pitcher Lyndsay Gomme (center) tosses a ground ball to first base, covered by senior second baseman Ali Furgala, for the final out of the Lady Barons' 3-1 softball victory Thursday over Wesleyan College at the Brewton-Parker softball field. Eyeing Gomme's play are (from left) freshman first baseman April Meeks, senior third baseman Alissa Vogt and shortstop Rachael Harper.