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Five Blasts Propel Tars to a Pair of Opening Day Victories
Courtesy: Rollins Athletics  
Release: 02/01/2014
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Rollins 4, Lander 2 F/8

The 2014 season started with a bang Saturday as Rollins won in walk-off fashion over the Lander Bearcats. Kristie Hoeffer’s two-run drive over the center field fence in the bottom of the eighth inning clinched the 4-2 victory for the Tars in the first game of the PBC-SSC Challenge in Columbus, Ga.

Stephanie Sullivan allowed four hits, two earned runs, and struck out two in five and two-thirds innings of work. Fogle recorded the victory by not allowing a hit of walk in her two and one-third innings. She struck out five of the six Bearcats she faced.

Rollins broke through in the bottom of the third inning when Hilary Brown recorded the first run and home run of the season, giving the Tars a 1-0 lead. Rollins would double the lead one batter later when Hailee Keisling smashed the Lander offering over the right-center field fence in her first collegiate plate appearance.

The Bearcats roared back in the sixth inning to tie the score 2-2. The Lander two-out rally began with a walk and was followed an RBI double and RBI single. Niki Fogle was called upon in relief to close the inning, and she did just that with a strikeout.

The Bearcats were shut down quickly in the top of the eights after starting the inning with a runner placed at second base, an effect of the international extra innings rules. After a failed bunt attempt, Veronica Alred recorded the second out of the inning by firing a laser down to third to erase the runner trying to swipe the bag. Fogle struck out the next Bearcat to end the top of the inning.

After being placed on second to begin the bottom of the inning, freshman Chelsea Reed advanced to third base on an illegal pitch infraction by the Lander hurler. With one out, Hoeffer launched a deep two-run homer to dead center to end the game in walk-off fashion . 

Rollins 4, No. 15 North Georgia 3

The Tars were able to overcome an early deficit against No. 15 North Georgia to complete the sweep of the first day of the PBC-SSC Challenge. Niki Fogle helped her own cause on the mound with a late-inning solo shot that proved to be the deciding run.

The Tars improved to 2-0 (0-0 SSC) on the year as Fogle went the distance in the circle, earning her second victory of the day and the season. The sophomore allowed five hits and three earned runs while walking one and recording nine strikeouts in the seven-inning outing.

North Florida fell to 1-1 (0-0 PBC) on the young season after beating the Lions of Saint Leo earlier in the day.

After a leadoff single, stolen base, and a double to center field, Rollins found themselves in an early 1-0 hole to the Nighthawks. The Tars responded in the bottom of the first to tie the game when Jessica Gipson’s infield-single drove in leadoff hitter Chelsea Reed.

Rollins continued to score in the second as Courtney Durbin led off the inning with a single up the middle. Reed drove her in and gave the Tars a 3-1 with her first collegiate home run.

North Florida tied the game up 3-3 in the fifth on a two-run homer of their own.

Leading off the bottom of the sixth, Fogle crushed the first pitch she saw over the left field fence to give the Tars a 4-3 advantage. In the seventh, She returned to the mound and shut down the Nighthawks to lock in the second victory of the day for Rollins.

Rollins will return Sunday for day two of the Challenge. They will face North Georgia again at 11:30 am and then meet tournament-host Columbus State at 2 pm. Fans will be able to catch all the action live on the Tars Sports Network at RollinsSports.com.


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