TAMPA, Fla – The University of Tampa finished their regular season series against the Embry Riddle Eagles on Saturday with an afternoon doubleheader. UT took the first game of the day by the same 2-1 score as the game on Friday night but this time it was in seven innings. In the series finale, the Eagles came out on top 5-4 in 15 innings.
With the series completed, the Spartans record is 11-8 overall while Embry-Riddle moves to 20-8.
The pitcher of choice for the first game was Freshman Makaleigh Dooley (5-3). Dooley continued her strong performance from the previous game as she went the full seven innings to earn the win. She only allowed one run to score as she gave up three hits with one walk and also striking out five batters.
Opposite Dooley and starting for the Eagles was Raquelli Bianco (6-3). Despite giving up seven hits, she only allowed two runs to cross the plate while tossing no walks and also striking out five batters.
It took until the 5th inning for the Tampa offense to come to life as they found themselves down 1-0 on the board. Catcher Erica Matich got the team started as she singled to right field. Right fielder Kelsey Humphrey reached first safely on a fielder's choice that also moved Matich to second. Center fielder Sahrina Cortes loaded the bases on a bunt single. Freshman Cristina Clauberg reached first to keep the bases loaded on a fielder's choice with Matich being called out at home on the forced out. Dooley then came up with two outs and singled up the middle that put two runs for UT on the board as Humphrey and Clauberg scored. This would end up being enough for the team as Dooley did not allow any hits in the last two innings to close the game.
In the second game of the doubleheader, the Spartans and Eagles went back and forth in the first six innings but after that, it turned into a pitcher's duel as eight scoreless innings took the game to the 15th inning where Embry-Riddle scored one run in the top half and Tampa could not match them in the bottom half.
Senior Alyssa Bache (6-4) was the starter for UT but could only go one inning as the Eagles took an early two run lead off two Tampa errors. Dooley (5-3) would go the rest of the way and was tagged with the loss despite going a strong 14 innings where she gave up three runs and 10 hits but had no walks and struck out seven opposing players.
It was a rough game at the plate for the Spartans as their offense was not able to do much after the first two innings with only one more run scoring in the bottom of the sixth that tied the game at 4-4.
Clauberg scored the first run in the bottom of the first inning off a Dooley single to third base while catcher Taylor Szostak scored off a RBI double to right center in the second inning by Humphrey who scored a run of her own on the next batter as Cortes singled to left center. Also contributing on offense was pinch runner Meagan Brislin, scoring a run in the sixth inning.
ERAU starter Kassidy Simons (9-2) picked up the win, scattering 14 hits and striking out eight while walking one. Simons gave up three runs in the first two innings and one in the sixth.
UT will be back in action on Friday March 18 as they travel to Miami Shores, Fla to face off against the Barry University Buccaneers for a three game conference series. The first game is scheduled to start at 6 p.m.
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