JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Senior Hayden Crawford's walk-off single in the seventh capped a gem in the circle from Logan Green and lifted Jacksonville State to a 3-2 win against in-state rival Samford on Thursday night.
After the freshman Green held a potent Samford team at bay from in the circle, Crawford delivered the game winner and gave the Gamecocks (24-9) their 11th consecutive win against the Bulldogs (27-10) and their 15th in their past 16 in the series.
While Samford kept working out of jams against the JSU offense, Green kept her team in the game by holding the Bulldogs to just two runs on three hits and one walk in her fifth complete game in eight starts. She struck out two and allowed just five baserunners against a team that entered the game hitting .309 and averaging more than six runs per game.
JSU only had three hits through the first six innings but left 10 runners on base after Bulldog pitchers walked seven and hit three more batters in those first six frames. Three clutch hits, two with two outs, were just enough for JSU in its 35th win in 53 all-time meetings between the two rivals.
JSU struck first in the second, when a leadoff single up the middle from senior Kalee Tabor, followed by a passed ball that allowed her to reach second, set up an RBI double from fellow senior Amanda Maldonado. She drove Rebecca Leonard's one-out, 2-2 pitch into the left field corner to put the first run on the board.
Caroline Wilder answered with a two-out hit for the Bulldogs in their ensuing at bat. With runners at second and third, the Samford two-hole hitter snuck one just out of the reach of shortstop Cadi Oliver to drive in a pair to give Samford a 2-1 lead.
JSU left the bases loaded in the third and fifth despite not recording a hit in those innings. The Gamecocks' next hit after Maldonado's RBI double would come 21 batters later, when sophomore Ella Denes drove the first pitch she saw from Grey Adams into center to score Maldonado from second and tie the game with two outs. JSU then left the bases loaded again to send the game into the seventh tied at 2-2.
Green retired the last eight batters she faced, including a quick seventh that set up some two-out magic by the Gamecocks.
Reliever Jessica Stone got a pair of quick outs to start the JSU seventh before Maldonado's second double of the night one-hopped the fence in right center to keep the inning alive. Freshman Jamie McGuire was hit by Stone's second pitch to her to bring up Crawford, who blooped an 0-1 pitch into left that dropped just in front of a diving Caroline Seay to score Maldonado for the game winner.
Maldonado went 2-for-2 with two walks, scoring two runs and driving in the other one to lead JSU at the plate. Tabor reached three times with a single and a pair of walks.
Stone (2-1) suffered the loss after allowing a run on two hits and two hit batters in just over an inning in the circle. Leonard allowed an unearned run on two hits, three walks and two hit batters in four innings, while Adams gave up a run on one hit and four walks in 1.2 innings of relief work.
Wilder drove in both runs on her two-out hit, while Callie Brister and Seay had Samford's other two singles.