GULF SHORES, Ala. (February 5, 2017) – The Tars fell in a pitchers duel against defending National Champion North Alabama this morning, before finding their bats and dismantling Delta State in the second game of the day.
The Tars close out their first four games of the season, at the Gulf Coast Invitational, with a record of 2-2. Top ranked North Alabama moved to 4-2 on the year, while Delta State fell to 2-4.
Rollins and North Alabama traded scoreless frames for the first seven innings, but in their first extra at bat the Lions put a runner across the plate to walk-off with a 1-0 win. The Tars turned around quickly to face Delta State, jumping out early on the Lady Statesmen, Rollins did not relent securing the five inning victory.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
· The Tars out-hit the Lions, scattering eight hits to the Lions six.
· Rollins stranded 11 runners on the base paths.
· Freshman Sarah Piening and sophomore Grace Street combined to hold the defending national champions to only one, unearned, run through eight innings of work.
· After seven scoreless innings the teams entered the eighth tied 0-0. Rollins failed to score in the top of the frame, allowing North Alabama’s Shelby Woodard to win the game, scoring Bailey Nelson with a walk-off sacrifice fly.
· Sarah Piening held the Lady Statesmen to just four hits on the afternoon, while the Tars tallied 13.
· Rollins jumped out to an early lead, loading the bases in the first inning. Chelsea Reed delivered an RBI single and Abigail Sexton notched two RBI with a two out single of her own to give the Tars a 3-0 lead.
· Brianne Lint walked home a run in the second to push the Rollins lead to 4-0.
· Piening struck out Bailie Springfield with runners on second and third to get out of a jam in the top of the third.
· Kacie Booth sent a ball over the right center field wall in the bottom of the third. The two run shot made the score 6-0
· A three run fourth inning put the game out of reach. Lint homered for the first tally of the frame. Sexton singled to left field, sending Reed home, and senior Hailee Keisling knocked an RBI single up the middle, scoring sexton, and making the score 9-0.
· The Tars fall to 3-4 all time against North Alabama.
· This is the second consecutive season Rollins has lost to a No. 1 ranked team, falling to North Georgia last season. The Tars followed that defeat by winning 14 of their next 15 contests.
· This was the Tars first contest against Delta State since February 10, 2008, when the Lady Statesmen swept a double-header from the Tars.
· The win over Delta State was the Tars first shutout of the season, last year Rollins held 14 opponents scoreless.
Rollins heads to the NFCA Leadoff Classic, in Clearwater, Florida, next weekend. The Tars will take on Tiffin and West Chester on February 10, to open the event; they will then play Wayne State and Central Missouri on the second day, before finishing their time in the Tampa Bay Area with a matchup against University of California Pennsylvania.
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