Barnwell ties DII strikeout record
SAVANNAH, Ga. -- Armstrong Atlantic State University sophomore righthander Megan Barnwell tied the NCAA Division II softball single-game strikeout record on Tuesday afternoon, striking out 23 Columbus State batters in a 5-4 11-inning win against the Cougars in the first game of a Peach Belt Conference doubleheader at the Armstrong Softball Field.
Barnwell becomes the seventh pitcher in DII history to notch 23 strikeouts in a game, and the first since Mandy Chandler of Georgia College turned the trick vs. Lenoir-Rhyne on May 14, 2006, in a 16-inning affair. She ties the PBC record and sets a new Armstrong mark in the process, eclipsing the 17 strikeouts recorded by Katya Eronina vs. Edinboro on March 14, 2004.
The Pirates (12-3, 3-1 PBC) led, 2-0, through the first three innings as Barnwell struck out eight of the first nine Columbus State batters she faced. The Cougars (18-6, 2-2 PBC) took the lead in the fourth inning as Kara Gordon hit an 0-2 pitch over the center field wall for a three-run homerun, putting Columbus State up 3-2.
Armstrong tied the game in the bottom of the fourth on a two-out RBI single by Heather Walker, but Columbus State regained the lead in the top of the sixth on a solo home run by Kori Waugh.
Ashley Buckett led off the bottom of the seventh inning with a solo home run to tie the game at 4-all and send the game into extra innings, while Barnwell settled down and did not allow a hit the rest of the way. She struck out two in the seventh, eighth and 11th innings, sending the Pirates into the bottom of the 11th still tied at 4.
Baillie Temples led off the bottom of the 11th with a popup to shortstop that Gordon dropped, allowing Temples to reach second. An errant pickoff throw to second by catcher Casey Googe allowed Temples to reach third, then on Megan Qualls' ground ball to second, CSU second baseman Courtney Darr hesitated on her throw to the plate, allowing Temples to score the winning run.
Barnwell (8-1) hurled 11 innings, giving up five hits and four runs, walking three and striking out the record-tying 23 batters for the victory. Kristi Bullard (7-3) took the loss for the Cougars, hurling 10 innings and giving up seven hits and five runs - three earned - while walking one and striking out eight.
Columbus State earned the split of the PBC doubleheader with a three-run homerun by Waugh in the third inning, then single runs in the sixth - on a solo home run by Morgan Staffins - and seventh inning - on an RBI double by Googe. Kelsey Gilliam (4-2) got the win for the Cougars, hurling seven innings of seven-hit, one-run ball, walking one and striking out six.
Shelby Duff (2-2) took the loss for the Pirates, giving up eight hits and five runs in 6 1/3 innings, walking three and striking out five.