KENNESAW, Ga.- The Akron softball team dropped two games on opening day at the Bobbie Bailey Memorial Tournament on Saturday at Bailey Park.
In the opener, the Zips fell to UNC Greensboro, 8-6. Akron finished the afternoon with a 7-2 loss to UAB.
The Zips stand 7-9 overall, while UNC Greensboro improved to 10-7 on the season, and UAB improved to 6-11.
In the morning, Akron jumped on the scoreboard in the bottom of the second on an RBI double to right field from sophomore Kelly Hysong (Beach City, Ohio). The Zips scored two more runs on a two RBI single from junior OF Taylor Kirian (New Riegel, Ohio), which gave the Zips an early 3-0 lead. UNC Greensboro answered back in the top of the fourth on an RBI single up the middle to cut the deficit to 3-1.
The Zips added a security run in the bottom of the fourth from a sacrifice fly out to center from senior 2B Anna Tarpley (Jacksonville, Fla.).
The Spartans added a run in the top of the fifth from an RBI single to first base. In the top of the sixth, UNC Greensboro scored a pair of runs off of a fielding error and a wild pitch. This brought the Spartans within one of the Zips' 5-4 lead.
In the bottom of the fifth, a solo homer from senior Savannah Fruin (Delray Beach, Fla.) gave the Zips a 5-2 advantage. Akron scored another run in the bottom of the sixth from an RBI single up the middle from junior OF Ashley Sims (Brooksville, Fla), which extended the Zips lead to 6-4.
Fruin hit her 25th career-home run moving her into the fifth all-time career home run list.
UNC Greensboro scored four runs in the top of the seventh inning, which gave the Spartans an 8-6 lead over Akron. The Spartans hit a solo home run, a two RBI double to center, and an RBI single to left.
The Zips had a chance to re-gain the lead in the bottom of the seventh, but were unsuccessful as UNC Greensboro claimed the 8-6 victory.
Freshman pitcher Lexie Handley (Mogadore, Ohio) got the start and took the loss (6-4 overall). She pitched 6.1 innings, fanning eight and walking seven batters. Junior Nicole Best (Broadview Heights, Ohio) relieved Handley in the bottom of the seventh.
In the afternoon matchup against UAB, the Blazers were jumped on the board first. In the top of the first, a wild pitch drove in the first run, which gave the Blazers a 1-0 lead. In the bottom of the first, a sacrifice fly out to right field from Fruin tied the game 1-1.
In the top of the third, the Blazers hit a two-run homer, which gave them a 3-1 advantage. Bottom of the third, Kirian hit an RBI single through the left side that closed the Blazers' lead to 3-2.
UAB extended its lead to 4-2 in the top of the fourth on an RBI double hit down the left field line. The Blazers added another run in the top of the sixth with an RBI triple to left field that gave UAB a 5-2 advantage.
In the top of the seventh, UAB extended its lead to 7-2 by scoring two runs. The Zips were unable to add any runs completing the Blazers' 7-2 victory.
Best started in the circle and earned her second loss (1-2) of the season. She pitched three innings, fanning three and walking three batters. Hysong relieved Best in the fourth inning. She pitched four innings, struck out two batters with no walks.
Tournament action continues on Sunday, March 5, as the Zips take on Dartmouth at 8:30 a.m., followed by a final game at 12:30 p.m. against tournament host Kennesaw State.