On Monday, Mar. 29, Furman Softball traveled to Knoxville to face the #21 ranked Volunteers in a doubleheader. Furman, though losing both games, would play much closer than the scoreboard indicates. These two losses bring the overall record of the Paladins to 6-14.
Monday's games were a tale of two halves for the Paladins as they held leads early in both games but failed to keep the upper hand in later innings. The first game proved to Tennessee that Furman came to play. The Paladins jumped ahead to a 1-0 lead early as Claire Ginder wasted no time in hitting a homerun well over the wall in her first at-bat. Furman was able to amass a 4-1 lead halfway through the game, but Tennessee would respond strongly. In the 6th inning the lead slimmed to one run with the score at 4-3 lead. However, Furman would not be able to hold on to their lead as a spark of Tennessee offense, fueled by a grand slam from Cailin Hannon, would close out the first game of this doubleheader as the Volunteers would win the game 11-4.
The second game would be of a similar story to the first as Furman would start with another early lead. During the first five innings, the Volunteers struggled greatly with Furman's pitching and defensive efforts. The Lady Paladins were able to capitalize on their strong play scoring two runs before heading into the sixth inning. However, a sixth-inning barrage of seven runs came in for Tennessee as they would be able to outlast the Lady Paladins in the final innings and win 7 -2.
The Paladins were dominant on the defensive side of the plate for 10 of the 14 innings played. But with batting averages of .185 and .208 during the two games, the consistency of Furman was not enough to outscore the inevitable Tennessee offense.
Furman Softball has high hopes for their season, however their struggle to finish games has kept the Dins from winning more than six games. The Lady Paladins resume conference play against UNC Greensboro this weekend Apr. 2-4. The Paladins will need to show the same effort and energy that they did in the first half of this doubleheader to attempt an upset on the 16-8 Spartans.