Henderson notches career-high 16 K's
KENNESAW — Amanda Henderson, who earlier won her first Atlantic Sun Player of the Week honors, had another first.
The former Eastside standout tallied 16 strikeouts in a 3-1 win over Georgia State in the nightcap of a doubleheader Saturday.
Kennesaw State dropped the first game 3-1.
The Owls (15-12) had their issues offensively throughout the afternoon, notching just 10 hits across the two contests, but were able to secure the split of the twin bill with a three-run fourth inning in the second game, taking advantage of two Georgia State (20-7) errors. Brittany Moore would drive in the first run after hitting a ground ball to short with one out that would score Kierra Koln, who was pinch running for Jessica Cross, from third base. With the 1-0 lead in hand, Lindsay Vollmer would hit a base hit up the middle that would score Moore and Bianca Durant, giving the Owls a, 3-0, advantage.
Henderson was dominant for stretches on the way to moving to 6-4 on the season.
Her 16-strikeout performance marked her fifth double-digit strikeout effort of 2012 and was part of her team-leading seventh complete game of the season.
While she allowed base runners in five out of seven innings, the Panthers were only able to push across a single run against the sophomore in the seventh inning, with Henderson striking out the last two batters of the game with one out and the tying runs on base. She also allowed the first two Georgia State batters to reach in the top of the fifth, but retired the next three Panthers to step to the plate to get out of the jam unscathed.
It was Georgia State that used a three-run inning to drive themselves to victory. With the Owls leading 1-0 heading into the top of the fourth, Jessica Cross would allow her first home run of the season to Jessica Clifton, and then allowed three straight hits that would drive in two more runs before she was replaced in the circle by Abbey Mixon with nobody out.
Mixon would strike out a pair of Panthers and would allow a base hit, but Kaylee Williams would take a relay throw from Natalie Rhodes in centerfield and throw out Callie Alford at home to keep it a two-run game. The Owls had their opportunities to pull even with the visitors late in the opener, stranding runners at the corners in the sixth inning before loading the bases in the seventh after a pair of walks and a Panther error. In the end, though, it was a Kaylee Williams infield single in the second inning that would represent all of the Owls run production in the opener.
Kennesaw State takes the field again on Thursday evening, when they take on the Samford Bulldogs at Bailey Park at 6 p.m. There will be free food for the first 200 students to arrive.