Winthrop University

Winthrop roundup: Eagles’ baseball bats, pitching arms firing on all cylinders

It’s official: Winthrop baseball is hot.

The Eagles continued their winning ways over the weekend, recording a three-game sweep of Longwood in Farmville, Va. The Eagles have swept two straight Big South series and ran their overall win streak to eight.

Winthrop (14-9, 6-0 Big South) has recorded 10 hits or greater in every game of its eight-game string, including a 21-hit outburst in the 10-3 finale of this past weekend’s set. Alex Raines, Matthew Mulkey, and Brandon Fite each recorded three hits in the series opener, with Mulkey adding another four base knocks in Saturday’s victory. Spencer Yankle, Scout McFalls and Grant English joined the three-hit club in Sunday’s finale.

Winthrop’s starting pitching turned in an equally stellar weekend, throwing just shy of 18 innings and allowing just two earned runs on 15 hits. The combo of Zach Peek, Nate Pawelczyk, and Thad Harris fanned 24 while walking just five. The Eagles have surrendered just 22 runs in six league games.

Winthrop next welcomes Southern Conference foe Furman to The Winthrop Ballpark Tuesday at 6 p.m., before hitting the road for a weekend series at Radford.

Radford (4-2 Big South) and Winthrop have both scored a league-high 158 runs, though those runs have come in different ways. The Highlanders have smashed out 35 home runs, to Winthrop’s 16, while the Eagles already have 238 hits as a team, 19 more than second-best Charleston Southern.

The Eagles average 10 runs per game in league play, and lead second-placed Campbell (5-1) by a game in the Big South standings.

Westbrooks powers weekend series win against Binghamton

Winthrop softball took two of three this weekend from Binghamton, and much of the credit for those victories can be placed on the bat of Ashley Westbrooks. The junior from Chesnee cranked four homers over the weekend, starting with one in Friday’s 7-2 loss to the Bearcats.

That four-bagger was just the warmup for the power display that would unfold in Saturday’s doubleheader. Westbrooks cut into Binghamton’s 5-0 lead in the third inning of the first game, drilling a three-run shot to left-center. After the Eagles had cut the Binghamton margin to 5-4, Westbrooks provided the shot that helped decide the game, drilling a grand slam deep to left.

The hitting display continued into Saturday’s nightcap, as Westbrooks homered to right-center as part of a two-hit, three-RBI output in a 7-2 Eagle victory. Westbrooks’ performance earned her Big South Player of the Week plaudits.

Winthrop (13-14, 2-4 Big South) will look to continue their winning ways at Coastal Carolina Wednesday, before welcoming in Gardner-Webb for a Friday doubleheader and single game Saturday afternoon. First pitch is slated for 4 p.m. Friday and 1 p.m. Saturday.

Lacrosse takes two from SoCon schools

Winthrop women’s lacrosse had a successful two-game run against Southern Conference opponents late last week, knocking off Wofford and Mercer.

Thursday’s 18-4 victory at Wofford featured the Eagles outshooting Wofford, 29-11. Sophomore midfielder put home six of her eight shots against the Terriers, with Lauren Asher, McKenna Blick, and Mia Creighton tallying three goals apiece. Keeper Alaina Girani turned away six of the nine Wofford shots she faced in the contest.

Winthrop (3-8) trailed by three goals at the interval Saturday afternoon, before blitzing Mercer in the closing stanza to record a 14-12 victory. The Eagles scored nine goals in the half, with seven different Eagles denting the net. Savanah Paton’s goal off a Morris helper with 9:42 to play put the Eagles ahead to stay. Blick scored four times, with Creighton and Morris adding three each.

The Eagles start Big South play Wednesday, with a match at Campbell. Gardner-Webb then visits Saturday afternoon at 1 p.m. to begin the Eagles’ home portion of the Big South slate.

Women’s tennis continues impressive Big South run

Winthrop’s women’s tennis team ran its league record to 7-0 last week, putting away Gardner-Webb and Hampton with 6-1 victories.

Alisa Soloveva pushed her singles unbeaten stretch to 12 matches in the victory at Hampton, notching a straight-sets victory over the Pirates’ Cherise Holcombe. Rafaela Santos’ straight-sets victory made her the fourth Eagle with 10 or more singles victories this season, joining Ellie Burns, Soloveva, and Lauren Proctor.

The 11-5 Eagles look to keep their momentum rolling with a home match against Charlotte Thursday afternoon. First serve from Rock Hill Tennis Center is slated for 2 p.m.

Another track and field record falls

Evan Hailes’ school record 15.06m triple jump paced a strong weekend for the Eagles in the Winthrop/adidas Invitational over the weekend. Hailes’ effort was good for second place in the event.

Dalton Nichols, Harper Henson, Will Metcalf-Shull and the men’s 4x400m relay team each recorded top-ten finishes.

Winthrop next competes March 30 at Wofford’s Terrier Invitational.

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