LAKELAND, Fla – The University of Tampa softball team traveled to Lakeland, Fla to take on the Florida Southern College Moccasins in a three game series. Friday night's opener was postponed due to rain making the field unusable. On Saturday, the two teams faced off in an afternoon doubleheader. Tampa took both games by the same 3-0 final score.
With the two games complete, the Spartans now hold a 17-18 overall record and are 9-11 in conference play. The Mocs fall to 14-27-1 on the season and 6-13-1 in SSC play.
In the circle for UT in the first game of the day was senior Alyssa Bache (11-9). Bache tossed the complete game, as she gave up five hits and had six strikeouts to just one walk. The senior worked out of a jam in the bottom of the sixth inning as Florida Southern loaded the bases with two outs. However, Bache got right fielder Zierra Flodman to hit a groundball to shortstop that ended the inning. In the bottom of the seventh, she stranded the leadoff runner at second as she got three straight outs to seal the victory.
Starting pitcher for FSC was junior Brandi Jones (7-13). Jones also went the seven innings as she gave up the three runs for Tampa on six hits with one walk and three strike outs.
Offensively, the Spartans did all their work in the top of the third inning. Shortstop Alyssa Colletti started the inning drawing a walk. Right fielder Kelsey Humphrey came up to bat with one out and sent a pitch just past the fence in left-center for her first home run of the season. Center fielder Sahrina Cortes followed up at the plate, hitting a single and moving to second on a stolen base. Junior Bre Setree would then double to center field with two outs and drove in the final run of the day as Cortes came around to score.
In the second game of the day, freshman Makaleigh Dooley (6-8) was the pitcher of choice. Backed by strong defensive play behind her, Dooley kept the Mocs off the scoreboard as she went the complete seven innings, giving up just four hits and striking out seven batters with no walks to earn the win.
Opposite Dooley and starting for Florida Southern was Sydney Koch (5-5). Koch was only able to pitch 4.1 innings as she gave up the three runs, though none were earned as Florida Southern had two errors in the crucial inning. Koch exited the game having given up six hits in total, walking two and having no strikeouts. Hannah Loyer came on in relief and pitched the final 2.2 innings, giving up two hits with three strikeouts and two walks.
At the plate in the second game, Tampa combined for eight hits that led to the three runs coming home. This time around, the Spartans did their damage in the top of the fourth inning as they took advantage of two errors by FSC that kept the inning going to score their three runs. Setree reached base safely to start the inning as the shortstop could not field the ball smoothly for the first error. Pinch running for Setree was Lauren Pascoe, who advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Dooley. Pascoe then moved to third on a wild pitch and UT would put runners on the corners as Bache drew a walk. Meagan Brislin came in to pinch run for Bache and stole second on a muffed throw by the second baseman that allowed Pascoe to score. Colletti moved Brislin to third on a fielder's choice and designated player Taylor Szostak doubled to right center that brought her home. Szostak would come in to score herself as left fielder Savannah Jerkins wrapped up the scoring as she hit a double of her own to left center.
The team will be back in action tomorrow afternoon as they wrap up the series against the Mocs in game three of the series. This game will replace the opener that was postponed on Friday night due to rain. First pitch is scheduled for 2 p.m.
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