WINTER PARK, Fla. (March 2, 2012) - The 19th ranked Tars welcomed top-ranked University of Alabama in Huntsville to Lake Island Park Friday and sent them home with their first loss of the season, splitting a double header. Rollins took game one, 8-5, behind a complete team effort but dropped game two, 7-4, even after leading as late as the fifth inning.
The Chargers showed why they are the top-ranked team in the land early in game one as they scored two in the top of the first. The Chargers' first run of the inning came courtesy of an RBI single from Stephanie Needham. Later in the inning, UAH added their second on a run scoring double by left fielder Abby MacKay.
Halpin then advanced to third on a Monica Meadows single and would eventually score on a perfectly executed double steal. Meadows drew a throw on a bluff steal attempt that allowed Halpin to take home on the throw.
After a Hope Bitzer double that put runners on second and third, senior Meredith Foster would pick up an RBI on a groundout to second for Rollins' second run of the inning. The Tars weren't done yet as Lawna Hunter followed the Foster groundout with a double to the fence in center, scoring Bitzer to give Rollins the lead, 3-2.
Neither team would mount much of a threat again until the fifth when the Chargers would tie the score at 3-3 on a one out sacrifice fly from MacKay that scored Kelli Long. Long had reached on an error to lead off the inning.
The Tars would again answer and regain the lead in the bottom of the inning with three more runs. The first coming from an RBI single from Bitzer that scored Alred after Alred reached on a double to open the inning.
After Foster sacrificed Bitzer to second, Hunter added her second RBI double of the game to score Bitzer. Hunter would also eventually come around to score on a Charger error, making the score 6-3 after five.
Rollins would add two more in the sixth on RBI singles from Alred and Bitzer to push the lead to 8-3 heading to the seventh.
UAH would not go quietly as they plated two runs with two outs to pull within three at 8-5 but that was as close as they would come as Bitzer (7-2) shut the door to pick up the win and secure the upset. Whitney Toler (6-1) took the loss for the Chargers as she gave up seven runs, six earned, in five innings pitched. To go along with the complete game win, Bitzer also went 3-4 at the plate with two RBI and two runs scored.
The Chargers get on the board in the fourth on a solo shot from Needham to make it 4-1 in after four innings played.
UAH would then steal all the momentum thanks to a grand slam in the fifth from MacKay to take the lead, 5-4.
The Chargers would add two more in the seventh to put it out of reach and take game two, 7-4. Sophomore Amye McIntyre (5-2) suffered the loss, giving up five runs in just over four innings of work. Whitney Gilbert (3-0) earned the win, going the distance while giving up four runs, none earned, on four hits.
Rollins will be back in action Monday, Mar. 5th when they travel to Clermont, Fla. to play two games at the National Training Center with game one slated for 3 pm vs. Cedarville University. Fans can follow all the action live on the Tars Sports Network at RollinsSports.com.