Saturday, Winthrop softball said thank you to a legend. The Eagles then produced a legendary performance of their own.
Winthrop Hall of Famer and current Legion Collegiate Academy softball coach Mark Cooke tossed out the first pitch before Saturday’s series finale with Gardner-Webb, then watched as former Fort Mill star Bella Roy fired a one-hit, 5-0 shutout against the Runnin’ Bulldogs.
Roy struck out 11 in the complete-game performance, earning Big South Freshman of the Week honors in the process. The shutout was just the second of the year for the Eagles, with the only other such decision a 19-0 victory at East Carolina on March 3.
Second baseman Blake Wallert registered two of the Eagles’ seven hits on the day, while driving in three runs. The victory gave the Eagles the series win over the Runnin’ Bulldogs, on the heels of a 9-1 decision in the second game of Friday’s twin bill. Wallert, the former Clover Blue Eagle, joined Ansley Gilreath and Madyson Watson in slugging homers in that Friday win. Watson drove in four, while Wallert touched the plate three times.
Winthrop (15-16, 4-5 Big South) travels to NC State for a 6 p.m. Tuesday outing that will be streamed on ACC Network Extra, before hitting the road to Radford for a single game Friday and doubleheader Saturday.
Baseball swept by Radford
Winthrop baseball scuffled a bit over the weekend, dropping a three-game series at Radford. The Highlanders took a hard-fought, 5-4 decision Friday night, before exploding for 33 runs over the final two games of the set.
Spencer Yankle homered in Friday’s nail-biter, while Matthew Mulkey drove in two. Mulkey and Jake Sullivan homered in Saturday’s 20-11 final, with each driving in four runs. Sullivan provided the Eagles’ lone run driven in Sunday, as the Highlanders took a 13-3 win.
Winthrop (14-13, 6-3) will look to get back on track Tuesday at Furman. The Paladins, who began the Eagles’ current four-game losing string with a 14-5 decision at Winthrop last Tuesday, will welcome the Eagles to Latham Stadium for a 6 p.m. first pitch. High Point will then visit The Winthrop Ballpark for a weekend series. Game times are 6 p.m. Friday, 3 p.m. Saturday, and 2 p.m. Sunday.
Another strong showing for track and field
Four Winthrop performers won their individual events Saturday at the Terrier Relays, paced by back-to-back Big South Field Athlete of the Week Colby Thorn’s victory in the long jump. Thorn took the event with a 7.33m jump.
Junior Evan Hailes won the triple jump (14.35m), bettering the next-closest finisher by 0.71 meters. Freshman Nate Poole recorded a 47.18-meter throw to take the Javelin event, while Dalton Nichols’ 46.23-meter discus throw gave him the win in the event by over a meter.
Two other Eagles recorded top-three finishes. Kinleigh Wilkerson’s 49.70m hammer toss was good for third, while Harper Henson notched a second-best finish in the 1500-meter with a time of 4:42.25.
Winthrop will return to action on Saturday, as it ventures to Elon, N.C., to compete in the Phoenix Invitational.
Men’s tennis honors three seniors
Winthrop men’s tennis closed out the home portion of its schedule Sunday, honoring Aditya Gokhale, Leandros Pappayiannis, and Diego Quiroz. The three took the court at the Rock Hill Tennis Center for the final time, as they wind down their successful careers as Eagles.
Unfortunately for the trio and their teammates, the celebration did not continue. Gardner-Webb took a 7-0 victory, winning three of the singles courts in straight sets.
Quiroz dropped a first-set tiebreak to Gardner-Webb’s Maximilian Scholl, before Scholl bounced back to take the final set, 6-1. Gokhale and Pappayiannis both fell in three sets on their respective singles courts.
Winthrop (7-11, 2-5 Big South) returns to the court Thursday, Apr. 11, for the regular-season finale at Presbyterian. First serve is slated for 2 p.m.
Soccer conducting goalkeeper camp
Do you have an aspiring goalie in your family? If so, Winthrop is conducting a goalkeeper camp on June 15, and will offer attendees the chance to go through a college-level workout. College coaches and goalkeepers will evaluate each participant.
Children aged 10-18 are welcome to attend the camp. The cost is $100 per camper.
For more details or to register, visit http://www.winthropsoccercamps.com.