TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (April 5, 2016) – Region 8 No. 10 Tallahassee Community College's postseason hopes got a boost on Tuesday when the Eagles picked up a 2-1, game two win over NJCAA No. 16/Region 8 No. 5 Chipola College to secure a split of the teams' Panhandle Conference softball doubleheader.
Tallahassee (21-17, 5-7 PC), who could've pulled into a second-place tie with a sweep, remains two games back of Chipola (36-11, 7-5) with four games remaining in the conference season. Perhaps of greater significance, the Eagles distanced themselves from last-place Pensacola State College (2-6) after the Pirates were swept by Gulf Coast State College (5-7) on Tuesday.
Tallahassee, who closed its home schedule on Tuesday, will play at Pensacola State (Saturday) and Gulf Coast State (Tuesday, April 12) to finish regular season play.
After dropping game one 8-0 in six innings (LP-Raya Moncus), Tallahassee rode the arm of sophomore pitcher Alexandra Cook to pick up the 2-1 win in the nightcap, a victory that also enabled the Eagles to split the season series with the defending national champions.
In fact, all five of Tallahassee's sophomores – Cook, Julianne Gillo, Brooke Marendino, Khayreyah Parrish and Jaylene Pryor – who were recognized on Tuesday, made meaningful contributions in the victory.
Parrish, who transferred to Tallahassee after Georgia Perimeter College shut down its athletics program in 2015, drew a one-out walk in the second and advanced to second on a passed ball. Two batters later, Marendino reached on an error by Peqe Lopez, allowing Parrish to score from second. A second error on the play allowed Marendino to advance to third, and the Eagles took advantage.
Freshman Kristin Gunter singled to deep right-center, scoring Marendino to give Tallahassee a 2-0 lead.
Chipola got a run back in the third and threatened for more, but Cook pitched her way out of a one-out, bases-loaded jam. The Indians loaded the bases again in the fourth, this time with two outs, but Cook again escaped unscathed. Chipola stranded two more runners in the fifth and left 10 on base for the game.
Despite a pair of errors in game two, after committing four in the opener, Tallahassee came up with some crucial defensive plays to preserve the 2-1 lead and the win for Cook.
Gillo snagged a hard hit ball off the bat of Liz Osburn for the first out in the sixth as Cook sat the Indians down in order.
Then, in the seventh, Madison Ragan, who hit a three-run homer in game one, drilled a line drive that had eyes for centerfield, but Pryor took two steps to the left from her shortstop position and made the catch for the second out. After a single kept the Indians alive, Bibi Santos hit one to deep left-center, but Marendino chased it down at the fence to end the game.
Cook allowed six hits and three walks while striking out three to earn the victory.
Tallahassee had six hits in game two and managed only ten for the doubleheader.
Saturday's doubleheader at Pensacola State begins at 2 p.m. eastern.