By Dustin Lewis, TCC Sports Information
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (April 8, 2017) - The Tallahassee Community College softball team split two games during Saturday's Panhandle Conference Round Robin. The Eagles now sit at 21-21 overall (5-13 PC).
In game one, Tallahassee defeated Pensacola State College 10-5, a win that clinched the season series against the Pirates. Both teams split its games on Saturday, leaving Tallahassee one-game ahead of Pensacola State (4-12) with two to play, though the Eagles essentially have a two-game cushion due to now owning the head-to-head tie-breaker.
Pensacola State hosts conference leader Chipola College on Tuesday and must sweep the Indians to force the Eagles into a must-win situation in Thursday's regular season finale at Northwest Florida State College.
After a scoreless first, Tallahassee would bring home the first run of the evening in the top of the second inning. With Brandie Callaway on first base, Brooke Bates knocked a ball deep into centerfield that allowed Callaway to make it home.
In the third, Elisa Cecchetti drove a ball down the third base line to bring home Kristin Gunter. Later in the inning, Samantha Malik stepped up to the plate and delivered a beautiful swing for a two-run homer. The home run was Malik's 13th of the season, tying her with former player Amanda Ake and Gunter for the Eagles' single-season home run record. Tallahassee led 4-2 after three.
The Eagles went scoreless in the fourth, but rekindled their offensive momentum in the fifth inning. Casey Durham hit a single deep into left field to score Cassidy Strickling. Later in the fifth, Malik's single to right field would bring home Gunter and increase Tallahassee's lead to 6-3.
Bates' strong hit to deep centerfield brought home Callaway and Alyssa NeSmith to make the Eagles' lead 9-3 after five innings.
Raya Moncus tossed a complete game to pick up the win (11-10). She finished with six strikeouts.
Bates led Tallahassee with three hits while also finishing with three RBIs.
Malik, Durham and Gunter each recorded two hits. Malik's four RBIs were a team-high.
The Eagles won despite being outhit 14-12.
The Northwest Florida State Raiders defeated Tallahassee 9-0 in game two.
Northwest Florida State scored five runs in the first inning and never looked back en route to the win. The Raiders finished with 11 hits, while the Eagles mustered just six.
Tallahassee was plagued by instability at pitcher during the loss. Callie Paine started the game but was pulled after surrendering three early runs and replaced by Bates.
Bates managed a strikeout over 3.2 innings, but seemed to be dealing with some discomfort after being struck by a pitch earlier in the contest.
Jewliana Castillo replaced Bates in the circle during the fifth inning and finished with two strikeouts over two innings.
NeSmith lead the Eagles with two hits. Strickling, Durham, Malik and Callaway each finished with one hit.
Next up for Tallahassee is a trip to Niceville for a doubleheader with Northwest Florida State at 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Thursday, April 13.