The Braves softball team won back-to-back games in walk-off fashion, scoring seventh inning runs to cap off 5-4 and 6-5 comeback victories over Emmanuel in their Thursday doubleheader.
With the Braves facing a 4-4 tie in Game One at the bottom of the seventh, senior 3B Jamie Johnson sailed a solo home run over center field to give UNCP the win. The homer was Johnson’s third hit of the day as well as her third RBI.
Emmanuel held a 5-2 lead in Game Two heading into the bottom of the seventh inning where a flurry of runs from the Braves shifted the contest. Senior Taylor Gerhart struck first with an RBI double to put the Braves within two.
After the Braves scored two more quick runs to tie the game at 5, senior OF Lexie Coxe laid down a bunt to bring a waiting Haleigh Epperson home to score the winning run and notch the Braves second walk-off win of the day. The Braves trailed through at least the first two innings in both matchups, and were behind for almost the entire game in the second before rallying to win with clutch hitting performances.
The Braves continue to shine in close games this season, having won seven out of nine games decided by one run.
“This team doesn’t ever stop. We’ve played some really good games this year where we’ve played well and still actually lost...when they get to see results like this it really shows you what that hard work is all about. You can’t teach that, it has to come from your core,” head coach Bennett said.
Bennett also highlighted the clutch and efficient hitting of Johnson as key to the win. In Game One, Johnson went 2-4 with 3 RBIs.
She followed that performance with an even cleaner one in Game Two, going 2-2 and driving home an additional runner. Thursday’s game was the first ever matchup of UNCP and Emmanuel.
The Braves improved to 16-8 with the win. The victory is also their 14th win in their last 17 games.