SOFTBALL

Kayla Cox throws fourth no-hitter as a Spartan and ties single game record with 20 strikeouts.
Kayla Cox throws fourth no-hitter as a Spartan and ties single game record with 20 strikeouts.

Spartans Split Season Opener Double-Header

CLEARWATER, Fla. – The No. 8 University of Tampa (1-1) softball team split a double-header with a victory over No. 10 Columbus State (3-2) and a loss to Palm Beach Atlantic (2-2) Friday afternoon in the Eckerd College Tournament.

Against Columbus State, Tampa won the game by a score of 4-0.  Junior Kayla Cox earned her first victory of the season after tossing 7.0 innings while striking out 20 and allowing no hits.  Cox's no-hitter is the 17th no-hitter in UT history, and her fourth as a Spartan.  Her 20 strikeouts tied the Spartan record for a single game.

The game went scoreless until the seventh inning when the Spartans scored four in the top of the inning to take a 4-0 lead.

Katlyn Raatz started the top of the seventh with a single through the left side.  Taylor Collins reached on a fielding error and pinch hitter Erika Schick followed by reaching on a fielder's choice to load the bases.  Kayleen Boatwright delivered a clutch one-out bases clearing triple to put Tampa ahead.  Stacy Piagno followed with an RBI single that scored Boatwright to add to the Spartans lead.

Columbus State was unable to advance a runner past second base against a dominant Cox.  Kori Waugh and Nina Rubio each drew walks against the Tampa starter.

In game two of the double-header, Tampa was defeated by Palm Beach Atlantic by a score of 6-0.

The Sailfish got on the board in the top of the first scoring two runs off Spartan starter Julia Morrow.  Lindsey Johnson delivered a two-out RBI single to give Palm Beach Atlantic the early lead.  Kara Anderson added to the Sailfish lead in the second with a two-out RBI single.  Jen Hunter scored in the third on a sacrifice fly by Johnson.  Mackenzie Johnson finished off the Sailfish scoring with a two RBI double in the fifth.

Morrow went 4.2 innings for Tampa allowing six runs while striking out three.  Raatz finished off the game with 2.1 scoreless innings and two strikeouts.

Sophomore Kandi Kuder had two hits for the Spartans.  Meagan Burke and Erika Schick each added a hit to give Tampa four in the game.

Tampa's next games will be Saturday afternoon against West Florida and Lindenwood at the Eckerd Tournament in Clearwater with the first game starting at 1:30 p.m.  Live stats will be available through www.tampaspartans.com.

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Tampa vs. Columbus State Score

Tampa vs. Palm Beach Atlantic Box Score

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