WINTER PARK, Fla. (March 30, 2012) - The 17th ranked Tars (27-6, 8-2) showed every reason why they have been ranked in the top 20 all season long in a dominant effort Friday evening, taking game one of a three game set vs. the Tritons of Eckerd College, 9-1, in run rule fashion.
After starter Hope Bitzer retired the Tritons in order in the top of the first, Rollins jumped all over Eckerd starter Whitney Bernier, scoring three runs on two hits in the bottom half of the frame.
Junior Aimee Halpin reached on a free pass to open the inning followed by sophomore Veronica Alred, who was hit with a pitch, to put runners on first and second, bringing up senior Monica Meadows with nobody out.
Meadows laced the Bernier offering through the right side of the infield and it rolled all the way to the fence, allowing Meadows to cruise in with the double, scoring Halpin and advancing Alred to third.
Senior Krista Rodden followed the Meadows double with a hit of her own, sending a line drive up the middle to score Alred and move Meadows to third.
With runners on the corners, Rodden purposely caught herself in a run-down between first and second, allowing Meadows to swipe home for the Tars' third run of the inning to take the 3-0 lead after one.
Rollins would add three more in the second, one in the fifth and one in the sixth.
The run in the sixth coming on a solo shot off of the bat of Meadows. The play was at first called a triple, as left fielder Taylor Styke scaled the fence down the left field line with the ball falling just over her glove and caromed back into the field of play. It was unclear whether the ball caught the top of the wall or if it ricocheted off of the foul pole just over the fence.
After an umpire meeting, it was ruled that the ball did indeed hit the bottom half of the foul pole, which by rule is a home run, allowing Meadows to jog home and score to extend the deficit to eight runs, 9-1, ending the game in a run rule in just over five and half innings of play.
The home run was Meadows' fourth on the year, tying her with fellow seniors Bitzer and Lawna Hunter for the team lead. Including her long fly, Meadows went 2-3 on the night with three RBI and two runs scored, raising her average to .387.
The Tritons lone run came in the fifth when Eckerd executed a similar play that Rollins performed to perfection in the first, a double steal attempt with runners on the corners. Julie Bierchen took off from first, drawing the throw from Tars catcher Alred, allowing Styke to scamper home to score the Tritons only run of the evening.
Freshman Taylor McGowan (5-0) earned the win as she came on in relief of Bitzer in the fourth. McGowan went three innings, giving up one unearned run on two hits.
Bernier (3-8) suffered the loss for Eckerd, going just one inning, giving up three runs on two hits while striking out one.
The Tars finish off the three game series tomorrow, Sat. Mar. 31, with a double header. Game one is set for 1 pm with game two to follow at approximately 3 pm. Fans can follow all the action live on the Tars Sports Network at RollinsSports.com.