LAKELAND, Fla. – The Fire played their second doubleheader in two days Wednesday. Extra innings were required to decide a winner in game one. In an unconventional scenario, the Fire capitalized on a error by Tennessee Wesleyan to secure a 4-3 victory. Late in game two, a pair of home runs plagued the Fire and caused Southeastern to fall 3-2.
Brandee Pietrzak sparked the Fire’s offense with a 5-6 performance on the day. The senior blasted two doubles, one home run, and totaled two RBIs.
Tennessee Wesleyan scored in the bottom of the first with the help of a bloop single into shallow right field.
Facing a 1-0 deficit early in game, Southeastern answered right back with the help of the Bulldogs. With the bases loaded and one out, Natalie Hughes hit a ground ball to third. The Bulldogs delivered the ball home for the second out, but on the double play attempt to first, the ball sailed into right field allowing Kiah Ferrell to score from second.
The Fire would strike twice in the fourth after back-to-back doubles from Pietrzak and Britney Schmidt.
Tennessee Wesleyan was down but never out of the contest. In the sixth inning, the Bulldogs tied the contest with a home run from Briana Muller and a RBI single later in the inning.
With the international tie breaker in effect, Lauren Watters was placed at second base. The Fire were down to their final out with Sam Holcomb at the plate. It appeared to be a routine play at first glance, but the first baseman missed the throw, and Watters scurried home. This marks the Fire’s second win in extra innings.
The bats were off to a slow start for both teams in game two. Both squads had sporadic hits throughout the game until the Fire scored the first run of the game in the fourth. A sacrifice fly by Kiah Ferrell gave Southeastern a 1-0 lead but it would not be enough run support.
The Bulldogs launched two home runs and collected three runs in the sixth to regain the lead. Southeastern had been in a trailing situation before, but Pietrzak’s missile over the center field wall brought the Fire one run shy of the Bulldogs. Southeastern’s offense came up short in their final chances to come back in the seventh.
Southeastern heads back to Clermont, Florida on Saturday for a doubleheader against #4 Marian and Saint Francis. The first pitches are scheduled for 1:30 p.m. and 6 p.m.