No. 25 Eagles Fall To No. 3 Mocs In Second Round South Region 5-1
LAKELAND, FLA. – The No. 25 ranked Florida Gulf Coast University softball team continued play today in the NCAA Division II South Region tournament. The No. 5 seed (58-8) Eagles took on No. 1 seed and No. 3 nationally ranked (51-5) Florida Southern College Moccasins in round two of the South Region winners bracket. The Eagles fell to the Mocs 5-1 in the double-elimination tournament.
In the bottom of the second Mocs freshman left fielder Natalie Lang (Lakeland, Fla.) reached base on a single to centerfield as Southern made the first push. The Eagles held them at bay as sophomore right fielder Michelle Tatlock (Largo, Fla.) hit a pop up to Eagle third baseman freshman Cheyenne Jenks (Fort Myers, Fla.). Jenks turned the catch into a double play as she threw out Lang who was unable to get back to firstbase. With two outs on the board, Eagle sophomore pitcher Rachael Edinger (Lakeland, Fla.) ended the Florida Southern offensive by striking out the Mocs' next batter.
In the top of the third it looked as if the Eagles were going to make a run at it when junior Rachel Homan (Vero Beach, Fla.) reached first on an error by the Moccasins third baseman. With senior short stop Christine Beck (Hudson, Fla.) at bat, Homan stole second but it wasn’t enough to push a score as Beck struck out swinging.
In the bottom of the third the Mocs scored first blood when junior catcher Leah English (Tallahassee, Fla.) hit a solo homerun over the left field fence. With the 1-0 lead the Mocs next batter was thrown out at first. Junior second baseman Ashley Alpizar (Tampa, Fla.) stepped up to the plate and hit the second homerun of the day for the Mocs. With a 2-0 lead and two outs junior centerfielder Sarah Kohlbrenner (Dunedin, Fla.) was walked but was later caught stealing second to end the inning.
In the fourth inning, with the Mocs up 2-0, neither team scored a run. The Mocs started off with Lang leading off with a walk. Eagle junior first baseman Natasha Johnson (Ft. Pierce, Fla.) got the first out as she caught a hard line drive by Tatlock. Homan caught the second out for the Mocs as freshman designated player Angela Williams (Lakeland, Fla.) hit a high fly out to centerfield. With two outs, and Lang on first the Eagles held the Mocs to 2-0 getting a third out.
In the top of the fifth the Eagles scored their first run. Freshman right-fielder LeeAnne McDowell (Arcadia, Fla) started off with a single down the left field line. Junior catcher Roz Tyre (Lake City, Fla.) moved her to second with a sacrifice bunt. With one out and McDowell on second, junior first baseman Natasha Johnson (Ft. Pierce, Fla.) hit a sacrifice fly advancing McDowell to third base. Next at bat, sophomore second baseman Alisha Boyd (Naples, Fla.) brought home McDowell and made it to first on an error by the Mocs second baseman.
In the bottom of the fifth the Mocs took a 5-1 lead scoring two more runs. Junior shortstop Jesse Shepherd (Tampa, Fla.) hit a single to left field and then stole second. Next up for the Mocs, Kohlbrenner was walked by Edinger. Junior first baseman Jackie Leppla (Tampa, Fla.) hit a single and made it to second on the throw from centerfield that allowed Shepherd to score. With bases loaded freshman designated player Angela Williams (Lakeland, Fla.) hit a single to right field bringing home Kohlbrenner and scoring the fifth run for the Mocs. The Eagles made a pitching change bringing in freshman Melissa Geissler (Fort Myers, Fla.) who collected the third out to end the inning.
In the sixth inning the Eagles remained down 5-1 as neither team scored. In the top of the seventh, McDowell made it to first on an error by the Mocs second baseman. Tyre stepped up to bat and hit a hard liner to second and McDowell was called out at second on the fielder's choice. Sophomore Christa Piquette (Barrington, RI) came in to pinch run for Tyre on first. With two outs Natasha Johnson walked and Piquette adanced to second but was unable to score as the game ended with a third out.
The Mocs were led at the mound by junior pitcher (26-2) Megan Brown (Carrollton, GA). Brown pitched seven innings with six strikeouts, one run and one hit.
Eagle starting pitcher Edinger now has a (26-5) overall record. Edinger pitched five innings with two strikeouts, six hits and five runs. This was her No. 28 start of the season for the Eagles. Geissler pitched two innings with one strikeout and no hits or runs against the Mocs. Geissler with a (13-2) record has pitched 99 innings with a total 74 strikeouts for the year.
The Eagles are still in the South Region double-elimination tournament. They will play No. 7 seed Valdosta State (39-23) tomorrow at 1:30 pm in Lakeland, Fla.
FIRST ROUND NCAA SOUTH REGION
Thursday, May 11
Game One: #3 seed Alabama-Huntsville (49-15) defeated #6 seed Saint Leo (37-19) 2-1 in 13 innings
Game Two: #2 seed Barry (38-11) defeated #7 seed Valdosta State (38-23) 1-0 in 7 innings
Game Three: #5 seed Florida Gulf Coast (58-7) defeated #4 seed North Alabama (39-19) 5-1 in 7 innings.
Game Four: #1 seed Florida Southern (50-5) defeated #8 seed Kentucky State (25-9) 9-0 in 5 innings
Friday, May 12
Game Five: #7 seed Valdosta State (39-23)defeated Saint Leo (37-20) 3-1 in 7 innings
Game Six: #4 seed North Alabama (40-19) defeated #8 seed Kentucky State (25-10) 8-0 in 7 innings
Game Seven: #3 seed Alabama-Huntsville (50-15) defeated #2 seed Barry (38-12) 4-1 in 7 innings
Game Eight: #1 seed Florida Southern (51-5) defeated #5 seed Florida Gulf Coast (58-8) 5-1 in 7 innings