DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Junior Aurelia Gamch hit a walk-off, three-run home run in the bottom of the seventh to lift Bethune-Cookman over the Tigers (13-13) 3-2 in the first game of a doubleheader Tuesday afternoon. Bethune-Cookman would also win the second game of the day by a score of 1-0. Towson entered the day having won its last three games.
Gamch and the Wildcats were silent offensively through the first six innings against Towson starting pitcher Katie Lingmai. Lingmai, who had an earned run average of 1.35 over her last four starts, allowed just three hits and no runs going into the seventh inning.
However, Bethune-Cookman got two runners on base in the seventh inning before Gamch’s winning hit. Amari Foster hit a one-out double and Calesha Shelley walked. Gamch then hit the game-winning home run to centerfield, extending Bethune-Cookman’s winning streak to five games.
Brianna Jones hit a two-run home run in the first inning for Towson, giving the team an early 2-0 lead. Jones’ shot was her fourth of the season. However, the Wildcats’ Shanel Tolbert was sharp in the circle and allowed just three other Towson hits in earning the victory.
The second game featured strong pitching from both teams, as Towson and the Wildcats combined for just 10 hits.
Missy McCormick took the circle for Towson and allowed just one run on six hits in six innings. The freshman lowered her earned run average to 2.83.
But the Wildcats loaded the bases in the first inning and came away with a run on a passed ball to record the only scoring of the game. After Shelley and Gamch both hit infield singles Michelle Banuelos-Smith walked. After McCormick settled down and struck out Kelsey Rodney for the second out of the inning, a passed ball allowed Gamch to cross home plate and put a run on the scoreboard.
Tolbert would make the lead stand, allowing hits to only Jillian Donnelly, Delanie Dunham and Jones as part of the shutout. Donnelly finished 2-for-3 with singles in the second and fourth inning. She was the only Tiger that advanced to third base against Tolbert, doing so in the second inning.
Towson hosts Delaware Saturday and Sunday for the team’s Colonial Athletic Association opening series. Saturday, a doubleheader will begin at 12 p.m.