DECATUR, Ala. (February 17, 2012)- The 11th ranked Rollins softball team appeared to still be recovering from the 11 hour bus ride it took on Thursday in day one of the 2012 Charger Chillout, hosted by the University of Alabama-Huntsville, as they dropped both games Friday afternoon, 4-2 and 1-0 respectively.
In game one, the Tars took on the unranked Greyhounds of the University of Indianapolis. Reigning Sunshine State Conference Player of the Week Hope Bitzer got the start in the circle for Rollins looking for her third straight victory.
The Greyhounds drew first blood early on an RBI double in the top of the first from center fielder Jennifer DeMotte after left fielder Casey Williamson led off the game with a walk.
Indianapolis would add two more to their lead in the third. The Greyhounds led off the inning with back to back singles from Alexa Alfaro and Cori Eckerle and then loaded the bases on a walk to Dakota Malayer. Bitzer then struck out the next two Indianapolis hitters to bring up first baseman Taylor Russell. Russell then laced a single through the left side plating Alfaro and Eckerle to make it 3-0 Greyhounds.
After a scoreless third from the Tars, DeMotte hit her second RBI double of the game in the top of the fourth, scoring Williamson all the way from first after she had reached on an error, extending the lead to 4-0.
Rollins finally joined the party in their half of the fourth on a two run tape measure blast from senior right fielder Lawna Hunter that scored Veronica Alred after Alred reached to open the inning on an error.
Rollins threatened again in the seventh after a Tara Turner pinch hit walk and a Monica Meadows single brought up Bitzer with runners on first and second with two outs. But DeMotte, who came in to pitch in the third, got Bitzer to ground to shortstop Krysta Bradford who went to third to force out Hannah Lovestrand after Lovestrand re-entered to run for Turner to end the threat and the game.
Bitzer (3-2) was credited with the loss as she went the full seven innings giving up four runs, three earned, on ten hits while striking out 12. DeMotte (2-0) got the win for Greyhounds pitching five innings in relief giving up two runs, one earned, on three hits.
In game two, the No. 11 Tars took on the No. 3 Saints of North Georgia. Sophomore Amye McIntyre squared off against Saints pitcher Jessica Coan in what turned out to be a pitcher's duel.
Both pitchers went back and forth all game long with neither team mounting much of a threat until the Saints half of the sixth. Freshman Rochelle Shuman led off the inning with a walk and advanced to second base on a McIntyre wild pitch. McIntyre retired the next two North Georgia batters, on a fly out and a strike out respectively. After Shuman had advanced to third on a passed ball in the previous at bat, first baseman Katherine Martin came to the plate with two outs and a runner on third.
Martin ripped a ground ball towards third that took a tough hop that third baseman Hilary Brown couldn't handle, allowing Shuman to score from third to give the Saints a 1-0 lead heading into the seventh.
The Tars refused to go without a fight putting runners on first and second in the top of the inning but couldn't come up with the big hit as Turner was forced out at third to end the game.
McIntyre (2-1) went six innings in the loss giving up one run, zero earned, on two hits and three walks. Coan (5-0) picked up here fifth win of the season going the distance for North Georgia giving up no runs on just four hits while striking out nine.
Rollins will be back in action Saturday, February 18th in game three of the Charger Chillout against Georgia College & State University with first pitch slated for 9:30am. Fans can follow all the action live on the Tars Sports Network at RollinsSports.com.