DURHAM, N.C. – On the final day of the 2019 Duke Invitational, the Duke Blue Devils (9-11) took down both the Ohio Bobcats (11-7) and Charleston Southern (5-16) to close out their final non-conference tournament of the 2019 season.
The Blue Devils picked up a 2-1 victory against Ohio in the day’s first contest before downing Charleston Southern by the score of 9-5 in their finale.
Duke will return to action on Wednesday, March 6 for one final tune-up before ACC play begins, heading to Elon for an in-state showdown with the Phoenix. First pitch is scheduled for 5 p.m. ET. After Wednesday’s matchup, Duke opens its conference slate against in-state rival North Carolina, March 8-10 at the Duke Softball Stadium.
Duke 2, Ohio 1
Kicking off the final day of the 2019 Duke Invitational with an early-morning start, the Blue Devils handed the Ohio Bobcats a 2-1 loss in their first game Sunday.
Ohio made the first move of the day, blasting a solo home run in the top of the second to take a 1-0 lead. That lead would not last long, as a double to left center from Rachel Abboud in the bottom of the third scored Jazmine Moreno and made it a 1-1 ballgame.
The next two innings would be quiet on both sides before the Blue Devils broke through to take the lead late in the contest. Jameson Kavel continued her hot play at the play for the weekend with a scorching triple to right center, setting up a sacrifice fly from Reilly Metzger in the next at-bat to secure a 2-1 lead.
Shelby Walters (3-5), who came in for the final 2.2 innings, closed out the contest with a pair of strikeouts and a fly out. The freshman capped her performance with four strikeouts and allowing no runs with three hits. Abboud, Kavel, Metzger and Moreno accounted for the Blue Devils’ four hits on the day.
Duke 9, Charleston Southern 5
The Blue Devils put together one of their best offensive showings of the season to date in their weekend finale, tying a program record with nine runs in the 9-5 victory against Charleston Southern.
Duke wasted no time in getting on the board, posting five runs in the top of the first on three hits and two errors. Deja Davis opened the frame with a bunt single before stealing second to put herself in scoring position. An error allowed Jameson Kavel to reach safely and push Davis to third, setting up an RBI from Metzger, who reached on a fielding miscue from the second baseman while Davis touched home to make it 1-0 Duke.
Kristina Foreman added to the score two batters later, doubling to center to score Metzger and Kavel. After Caroline Jacobsen reached base on a hit by pitch, Marissa Gagliano laced her first triple as a Blue Devil and eighth of her collegiate career to right center, making it 5-0 through the first half inning.
The Buccaneers would get three runs back over the next two frames, plating one in the first before driving home two in the second via a single, making the Duke lead 5-3. However, the Blue Devils got two runs right back a half inning later thanks to double down the left field line and a Gagliano single to center, extending Duke’s lead to 7-3.
Kavel would tack on Duke’s eighth run in the fourth, bringing home Davis on a sac fly to deep left field. Davis reached base with a two-out triple, her second of the year.
Three-straight singles set up a base hit to drive in two more CSU runs in the bottom of the fourth, cutting the Blue Devil advantage to 8-5. Duke would add an insurance run a half inning later, loading the bases before Abboud drew a walk to push home the team’s ninth score.
Up 9-5, the Blue Devils used the strong pitching of Brianna Butler and several impressive defensive plays to shut down the game, securing Duke’s third-straight victory.
Duke finished with 11 hits on the day, as five different Blue Devils recorded multi-hit performances. Gagliano had her best day yet as a Blue Devil, going 2-for-2 with three runs driven in on a single and a triple while also drawing a pair of walks and one stolen base. Foreman, Davis, Metzger and Jacobsen rounded out Duke’s list of multi-hit performers in the win.
Peyton St. George earned the start, going 1.2 innings and striking out three batters. Amelia Wiercioch (2-3) picked up the win in 2.1 innings of relief work, allowing just two runs on four hits. Butler closed out the win, putting in 3.0 innings of work while striking out three and holding CSU without a hit or run.
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