LAKELAND, Fla.—Southeastern softball swept fellow Sun Conference member St. Thomas by scores of 8-5 and 11-2 Saturday afternoon to improve to 23-10 (2-2 TSC) on the season. The seventh sweep of the year helped SEU collect its first two TSC wins of 2018.
The Fire used three innings of major run production to take both competitions. In game one, they utilized a six-run top of the fourth, while in game two they needed a five-run opening frame and a four-run fourth inning. If Southeastern hadn’t scored in any other innings, they still would have swept the contests.
The Bobcats (1-12) jumped out to a 3-0 advantage over the Fire in game one after recording hits in five of their first ten trips to the plate. However, the lead would be short-lived.
Ashley Appell worked a 1-2-3 inning in the bottom of the third, marking the turning point in the competition. Southeastern, who had registered only a single hit through three innings, then rattled off seven hits and struck for six runs in the top of the fourth.
Kiah Ferrell sparked the rally with a leadoff triple to right field. She was then brought in by Britney Schmidt to get the Fire on the board.
Britt Robinson and Lauren Watters each singled to load the bases for Natalie Hughes, who plated Jaz Szierer to pull Southeastern within one.
Haliegh Harrell forced the tying run in with a bases-loaded walk before Sam Holcomb, who finished the game a perfect 2-for-2, gave SEU its first lead by singling in Watters. Brandee Pietrzak brought Harrell and Heather Faulk around with a double to cap off the six-run frame for the Fire.
After another quick inning of work for Appell, Southeastern added two runs in the fifth thanks to an RBI-double by Faulk, who came around to score on a throwing error to make it eight unanswered.
The Bobcats fought back but were unable to even the contest, as the Fire took game one 8-5.
In the second game, the Fire refused to take their foot off of the gas, starting just as they ended the first competition.
Southeastern batted a remarkable .500 (13-26) from the plate, as nine players eclipsed that mark individually in the contest. Ten separate players had hits and seven different batters drove in runs during the dominating performance.
Five runs crossed in the opening frame due to three hits, four walks and a wild pitch in the top of the first.
Watters and Sullivan picked up RBI singles, while Harrell was walked in and Ferrell scored via an errant delivery from the circle. Pietrzak added a run on a groundout to collect her third RBI of the day as the Fire led 5-0 before the Bobcats had an at-bat.
Following a Ferrell RBI double in the second and a Harrell sac fly in the third, the Fire were back at it again in the fourth.
Ferrell, who finished a home run away from the cycle, singled in Holcomb, which began the four-run inning.
Brianna Perez and Robinson added themselves to the boxscore with RBI base knocks as the advantage became double digits. Watters then tripled down the right field line to score Robinson and make it 11-0.
Hannah Bodenhorn earned her tenth win of the season with another impressive showing in the circle in game two. The junior fanned seven batters and gave up eight hits in five innings of work, leading Southeastern to an 11-2 victory.
The Fire will be back in action when they travel to Lake Wales for a doubleheader with rival Warner University. Games are scheduled for 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. on Thursday.