WINTER PARK, Fla. (March 9, 2012) - 18th ranked Rollins opened up conference play Friday evening with a shutout win, 3-0, over the Sharks of Nova Southeastern. Timely offense paired with another stellar pitching performance from senior Hope Bitzer propelled the Tars to their 18th win of the season.
Rollins got started early, scoring one in the bottom of the first on a RBI double by sophomore Veronica Alred that drove in Aimee Halpin. Halpin opened the inning reaching on an error and eventually stole second before coming into score on the double by Alred.
After a scoreless second by the Sharks, senior Lawna Hunter led of the Tars' second with a triple the gap in right center. Hunter then came in to score two batters later on a squeeze bunt by freshman Shelby Walters.
Rollins would add to the deficit again in the third courtesy of a solo blast by senior Monica Meadows. It was the reigning Sunshine State Player of the Week's third in just over a week, homering twice in a double header vs. Mount Olive back on March 1.
Nova wouldn't put much pressure on the Tars until the sixth. Bitzer retired the first two Sharks batters but then surrendered a single to Gina Bodarenko, followed by a walk to Chelsea Emery, to put runners on first and second with two outs.
Left fielder Melanie Spicola then laced a sinking lined drive towards left field that looked like a sure single off the bat. Senior left fielder Meredith Foster would make a run saving play to end the threat and the inning. It was second web gem of the night for Foster as she made a similar play to end the second.
Bitzer (9-2) would coast the rest of the way for the complete game win, going seven innings while sprinkling just six hits and striking out seven. Sara DeMuth (11-9) suffered the loss for Nova, going six innings while giving up three runs, two earned, on six hits.
Meadows went 2-2 with an RBI and a run scored to raise her average to .368.
Rollins will finish up the three game series with Nova in a double header Saturday afternoon with game one scheduled for 1 pm. Fans can follow along on the Tars Sports Network at RollinsSports.com.
Notes: Rollins is now 10-0 when scoring in the first inning.