AIKEN, SC (WFXG) - The University of South Carolina Aiken softball team split a pair of games against rival GRU Augusta Tuesday, winning by a 3-0 count in the opener before falling by the same score in the nightcap.
The Pacers are currently 29-12 overall, including a 12-6 mark against league competition.
Senior India Kornegay headed into the first game of the doubleheader with 999 career strikeouts – and made quick work of the lead-off batter, Ashley Benton, to record her 1,000th career strikeout. She became just the third player in Peach Belt Conference history to reach the milestone and is within reach of Amy Dumas, who totaled 1,020 career strikeouts at Augusta State.
Kornegay was in control of the opener the entire way en route to her 20th win over the season. She threw a complete game, giving up just five hits without allowing a run. She also struck out eight in the game.
After breezing through the top of the first, head coach Jerry Snyder's team took the lead in its at bat. Kaitlyn White singled up the middle to get things started and scampered to second on a wild pitch. Sarah Montei's well-placed sacrifice bunt allowed her to move to third. Samantha Chubb's bunt single plated White, who hustled down the line, not giving the visitors time to make a play.
Kornegay made quick work of the Jaguars throughout the game, although GRU Augusta managed to get a base runner on in each of the first five frames.
After retiring the side in order to start the sixth, Magan Thrower belted a solo homer to center field for a 2-0 lead. Alyssa Cook reached on a fielding error and Brittney Williamson drew a walk, putting runners on first and second.
White reached on a fielder's choice, but Cook was out on the play. Montei's walk loaded the bags before Chubb was hit by a pitch, driving in the third and final run of the contest.
In the top of the seventh, Kornegay retired the side in order, securing the victory.
For the game, Chubb drove in a pair while Thrower had the other RBI. Thrower and White each accounted for two hits while Madison Labrador, Chubb and Cook all had one.
In the second game, USC Aiken had a chance to take the lead in the bottom of the second when Victoria Burkett laced a double down the right field line with two outs. However, the threat ended with a strikeout.
The Pacers managed to get a pair on in the third to no avail. Cook started off the stanza with a single up the middle and Williamson's sacrifice bunt pushed Brielle Jungblut to second, who had come in as a pinch runner.
With two down, Jungblut stole third and Montei walked, but a foul ball ended the inning.
GRU Augusta took the lead on a solo homer in the fourth and tacked on two more in the sixth.
In the bottom of the sixth, Snyder's squad once again had two on base before making the final out of the inning.