ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – The University of Tampa softball team used an offensive explosion in the fourth inning to defeat the Eckerd Tritons in the conference opener.
INSIDE THE MATCHUP:
Final: Tampa 7, Eckerd 1
Records: University of Tampa Spartans (7-1), Eckerd College Tritons (4-6)
Location: Turley Athletic Complex || St. Petersburg, Fla.
All-Time Series: Tampa has dominated the series, leading 93-22; Last season, the Spartans swept the series and out-scored the Tritons 8-3.
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HOW IT HAPPENED:
BOT 3rd: With two outs, Makaleigh Dooley allowed a home run to Eckerd's starting pitcher Nikole Van Gennep. It was Van Gennep's second home run of the season, and the first homer that Dooley has allowed.
TOP 4th: The Spartans went on a rally with two outs and cashed in five runs against Eckerd's senior pitcher. Corynn Miner stepped to the plate with Mackenzie Allen on second base, and worked a full count. Miner stayed back on a change-up and drove it up the middle to tie the game. Dooley drove in two runs on a single up the middle, and Emalee Jansen followed up with an RBI double. It was Jansen's first extra-base hit of the season. Freshman shortstop, Stephanie Balmer, singled through the left side to score Dooley and extended the lead to 5-1.
TOP 5th: After the five-run fifth inning, Eckerd elected to change pitchers and brought in Ally Costa. Costa allowed a two-run home run to Miner on a 3-2 pitch. It was the home run of the year for Miner, who led the team with four homers in her freshman season.
INSIDE THE STATS:
- Dooley pitched her fifth complete game in as many starts; seven innings with 10 strikeouts and allowed only one hit.
- The lone hit for Eckerd was the home run by Van Gennep.
- Miner, Dooley, and Jansen combined for six hits (two hits apiece) and six RBI.
BEYOND THE BOXSCORE:
- Miner has two career home runs at the Turley Athletic Complex.
- Dooley's punched out 10-plus batters in three games this year.
UP NEXT: The University of Tampa will complete the weekend series against Eckerd with a doubleheader beginning at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 16.
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