AMERICAS, Ga. (February 12, 2012) - The 11th ranked Rollins Softball team ended their Georgia trip with a double header sweep of the Georgia Southwestern State Hurricanes on Sunday taking game one 5-2, and behind a stellar pitching performance from sophomore Amye McIntyre, shut out the 'Canes 6-0 in game two.
The 'Canes drew first blood in game one on an RBI single by sophomore second baseman Mason Moreland. Georgia Southwestern had loaded the bases after an Avery Purser walk, Katie Wooten reached on a fielder's choice, and another walk to senior Katie Wooten. Senior pitcher Hope Bitzer struck out the next two Georgia Southwestern batters but couldn't get out the inning unscathed as Moreland followed with a single through the left side of the infield, scoring Purser.
The Tars answered in the top of the third when senior Krista Rodden reached on a hit by pitch with the bases loaded that forced in center fielder Monica Meadows after she had reached earlier in the inning on a base on balls, tying the score at 1-1.
After Bitzer shut down the 'Canes in the bottom half of the third, Rollins was able to get to Georgia Southwestern starter Jessica Martin for three more runs in the top of the fourth, all coming with two outs. Junior shortstop Hannah Lovestrand started the rally with a single and advanced to second on a wild pitch. Meadows followed with an RBI double down the left field line, scoring Lovestrand. Junior Aimee Halpin then walked and advanced to second on a passed ball that also moved Meadows to third. After a Bitzer walk, Rodden ripped a single with the bases loaded scoring Meadows and Halpin extending the Tars lead to 4-1.
Georgia Southwestern added one more in the fifth on a solo homerun by senior Gabby Buck pulling the 'Canes within two runs, 4-2, but that's as close as they would come.
The Tars added some insurance the following inning on a Bitzer RBI ground out that scored Halpin after Halpin tripled putting Rollins back up three, 5-2.
That's how it would end as Bitzer (3-1) would cruise the rest of the way for the win going the distance while just giving up two runs, one earned, on four hits while fanning eight.
Sophomore pitcher Amye McIntyre came out blazing in game two, striking out seven of the first ten Georgia Southwestern batters she faced. Problem was that the Tars couldn't get anything going off of the 'Canes starter Brittny Dennison either as the two teams traded zeros until the sixth.
Rollins finally got on the board in the top of the sixth inning on a two out RBI double by sophomore Veronica Aldred. Halpin had reached on an infield single and advanced to second on a Rodden walk that brought up Aldred. Aldred answered the call by doubling into the left center field gap that scored Halpin easily from second.
The 'Canes threatened in their half of the sixth with a leadoff double by left fielder Rachel McElroy and she then advanced on a wild pitch, putting her on third with nobody out. McIntyre was able to pitch herself out of trouble by getting first basemen Erin Vick to pop out to shallow center, striking out Wooten, and getting shortstop Janna Anderson swinging for out number three after surrendering a walk to designated player Ashley Cavender.
The Tars removed all doubt in the seventh with a one out pinch hit solo homerun by Junior Tara Turner and a grand slam by Bitzer. Rollins loaded the bases on a single by sophomore Hilary Brown, Meadows reached on an error, and a single by Halpin that Bitzer followed with the bomb deep over the left field fence to remove all thoughts of a 'Canes comeback.
McIntyre (2-0) tossed the complete game throwing seven innings of shutout softball while scattering just four hits while striking out ten.
Rollins will be back in action Friday, Feb. 17 when they travel to Huntsville, Ala. to take on Indianapolis at 12:30 p.m. in its first of six games in three days in the UAH Charger Chillout. Fans can follow along on the Tars Sports Network at RollinsSports.com.