SAVANNAH, Ga. - The No. 4-ranked Armstrong Atlantic State University softball squad edged Wingate, 2-1, in NCAA Southeast Region first day action on Friday afternoon at the Armstrong Softball Field.
The Pirates (37-7-1) move on to face Columbus State - 8-2 winners over Mount Olive in Friday's other contest - at 11 a.m. on Saturday. Mount Olive and Wingate (32-21-1) will play in an elimination contest at 1:30 p.m. The loser of the first game and the winner of the second game will then meet in an elimination game at 4:00 p.m.
Wingate took an early 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning as Kelsey Maffucci singled, advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt, then scored on a two-out single by Hayley Whitley.
Armstrong would take the lead in the bottom of the third inning with a pair of runs. Alexis Mercer's RBI double would tie the game up at 1-1, then Hannah Reppert's sacrifice fly scored Peyton Roth with the go-ahead run.
Megan Barnwell (24-4) would then limit the Bulldogs to just one hit over the final four innings in earning the victory for the Pirates. Barnwell hurled seven innings of five-hit, one-run ball, walking two while striking out two.
Stacey Houser (23-13) took the loss for Wingate, giving up eight hits and two runs in six innings of work, walking one while striking out one.
Roth went 3-for-3 to lead the Pirates at the plate, while Whitley went 2-for-3 to pace the Bulldogs.