WINTER PARK, Fla. (February 2, 2017) – The Tars and the Mocs battled back and forth, but ultimately it was Rollins coming out on top of both games of on Saturday afternoon. The sweep boosts the Tars’ record to 12-8 on the year, and 4-2 in Sunshine State Conference play. Florida Southern falls to 8-8, and 4-5 in conference action.
The Tars sent two freshmen and a sophomore to the circle in today’s contests. The sophomore Erin Fortney took control of game one; while the pair of freshmen, Sarah Piening and Erin Crawford, did just enough to hold on in game two, surrendering just two earned runs. On offense a junior, Brianne Lint, and a senior Hailee Keisling, offered some clutch hitting performances to lock up the Tars’ victories.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
· Erin Fortney threw her second straight complete game, stifling the Mocs’ bats for most of the night, allowing eight scattered hits and one unearned run.
· The Tars took the lead in the bottom of the third. Kacie Booth reached on an error, and was able to advance to second on a mishandled throw. The junior transfer kept up her smart base running, tagging to third on a deep fly ball by Brianne Lint. Chelsea Reed then came to the plate and slapped an RBI single to left field, giving the Tars a 1-0 lead.
· Lint lead off the Rollins half of the fifth with a towering homerun, her fourth of the year, which extended the Tars’ lead to 2-0.
· The Mocs threatened to tie, or even take the lead in the seventh. After a lead off single, Donna Ryan doubled to right to bring Florida Southern within one. After two quick outs the Tars walked the bases loaded, but Fortney got Zierra Flodman to hit a lazy pop up to center field, securing the 2-1 victory for the Tars, and assuring Rollins of the series win.
· The Tars jumped out to an early lead, putting five runs on the board in the first inning. The Tars manufactured the runs; after getting a leadoff single, Hailee Keisling came home on a Kacie Booth bunt single. A walk and a hit batter then left the bases loaded for Rachel Minier who let four balls pass her by to pick up an RBI walk. Finally, Abigail Sexton singled down the right field line, which, after a throwing error by the right fielder, cleared the bases, giving Rollins a 5-0 lead after one frame.
· The Mocs responded with a five spot of their own in the third. The Tars used two pitchers in the inning, and both struggled to find the strike zone as the Tars issued three free passes, including two with the bases loaded. The inning could have been much worse, but the Tars escaped when Erica Morrissey lined out to right field.
· Both teams’ pitchers settled down until the sixth inning when the Tars would go ahead for good. Grace Street hit a one out double to left field before Kara Wagstaff came in to pinch run for the third baseman. Keisling got to play the hero one batter later, as she roped a two out, RBI single up the middle giving the Tars a 6-5 lead.
· Sarah Piening retired the Mocs in order in the top of the seventh to give Rollins the sweep.
· Brianne Lint (LF) – 2-3, 1 HR, 1 Run, 1 RBI
· Donna Ryan (RF) – 1-3, 2B, 1 RBI
· Erin Fortney – W, CG, 1 Run, 0 Earned Runs
· Brandi Jones – L, CG, 2 Runs, 1 Earned Run, 2 SO
· This was the fourth time in five years that the Tars have swept their rivals from Lakeland. Rollins is now 14-1 in their last 15 matchups against the Mocs.
· Sarah Harrison lost her 12 game hitting streak in the first game of the double header, but the freshman did reach on a fielder’s choice, and has reached base safely in every game of her Rollins career.
· Brianne Lint’s game one homerun gives her an SSC leading four on the year, as a team the Tars lead the conference with 11 total homeruns.
· With a six, four, three double play in the second inning of game one the Tars extended their SSC leading total to 11 double plays on the year.
· Head Coach Michelle Frew is now 754-309-1, in her 22nd season at the helm of the Rollins softball program.
The Tars have a full slate of nonconference double-headers next week, beginning with Claflin on Monday, March 6. First pitch of game one is scheduled for 6 p.m.