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Baitey, GCSU Eliminate Le Moyne 7-1

Georgia College & State all-American Keidra Baitey finished a triple shy of the cycle with two RBIs and three runs scored as the Bobcats eliminated Le Moyne with a 7-1 win at the NCAA Division II Championship in Salem, Va. 

Baitey’s 3-for-4 plate outing paced a 12-hit attack for GCSU. Nikki Smith joined Baitey as one of the four players with multiple hits in the frame, collecting a pair of hits in four at-bats with three RBIs. 

“Today was really good for me,” Baitey said. “I felt better at the plate today. I had a lot of confidence today.” 

GCSU jumped on top of Le Moyne (32-21) starter Sarah Reed early in the game, taking the 1-0 lead on a single from Diana Baruffa to center that scored Deidra Baitey, who led off the game with a base hit up the middle and stole second. 

The Bobcats added another run in the second behind a two-out single from Aundrea Baker that scored Brianna Hope after she reached and advanced to second on a throwing error from Dolphins second baseman Melissa Quimby. 

GCSU put the game out of reach with two more runs in the third. With one out in the frame, Baruffa laced her second hit of the day and scored on Keidra Baitey’s double to the center field wall. Nikki Smith followed with a single that scored the speedy Baitey from second base. 

“We swung at better pitches today,” GCSU head coach Ginger Miller said. “Yesterday we got out of our game plan and started swinging at pitches we don’t normally swing at. We tried to stay focused today on swinging at pitches in our zone, hitting the ball hard and putting it in play. We just wanted to get on base and let our big hitters take over from there.” 

Despite having all the runs it would need, Georgia College & State tacked on two more runs in fifth on a two-run double off Le Moyne reliever Martha Senko that scored pinch runner Ashley Payne and Keidra Baitey. 

Keidra Baitey capped her day in the seventh as she belted a solo home run, her ninth of the year, out left field to cap the 7-1 victory. 

Mandy Chandler bounced back from a rough outing Thursday to pick up the win and run her record to 23-4. The first-year standout allowed just one run on four hits with nine strikeouts in the complete-game outing. 

“Le Moyne is a really good team, but I felt like I hit my spots better today,” Chandler said. “The inning they scored the run, they capitalized on me not hitting my spots. I just had to get back in and re-focus.” 

Sarah Reed dropped her record to 17-11 with the loss, giving up four runs, three earned, on six hits in three innings of work. She was relieved by Martha Senko who gave up a pair of runs on four hits in two innings. Sophomore Cailynn Christophersen pitched the final two frames, giving up a run on a pair of hits.