PLANT CITY, Fla. – One run in each contest is all the Fire would need to secure their third doubleheader sweep of the 2018 season. Disciplined pitching shut down hitters and secured the Fire victories over both Point University and Olivet Nazarene University.
Game 1: Hannah Bodenhorn picked up right where she left off from last night’s performance. Bodenhorn faced five hitters over the minimum, surrendered five hits, and struck out seven.
Southeastern scratched across the first, and only, run in the top of the first inning. The Fire’s lead off hitter Sam Holcomb reached first on an error and advanced to second on a savvy baserunning play. The Fire had a runner in scoring position with no outs for the freshman.
Ramsey Sullivan drove an elevated pitch into the outfield scoring Holcomb from second.
The Fire would threaten in the third inning, but could not deliver the necessary two out hit.
“Ramsey came up clutch with a big two out hit for us. She saw a pitch up in the zone and did exactly what she should do with it,” said head coach Anna Welsh.
After a few quiet innings with little offense from both teams, Point gained a bit of traction in the 6th and 7th innings. Jordan Hamilton singled up the middle and advanced into scoring position on a wild pitch. Bodenhorn was able to get both Shae Pendley and Brooke Williams to ground out, ending the inning.
With two outs in the 7th, Shelby Rice tripled to put the tying run just 60 feet away. However, Bodenhorn fanned the last hitter sealing the victory for the Fire.
Sullivan, the freshman from Greenville, Florida had a solid 2-3 performance at the plate.
Haleigh Harrell, Holcomb, and Natalie Hughes collected the other three hits for the Fire during game one.
Game 2: Ashley Appell was given the ball in game two against Olivet Nazarene University. The freshman dealt a complete game striking out seven in the process.
The Fire were held hitless by Jamie Keifer until the third inning when Heather Faulk singled down the left field line. With two outs Holcomb singled through the left side but both runners would be left stranded to end the inning.
Southeastern broke through in the fourth when Sullivan led the inning off with a single. Jaz Szierer would replace Sullivan on the base paths as the Fire looked to tally the first run of the game.
Brandee Pietrzak connected on a pitch from Keifer and sent it over the head of the left fielder scoring Szierer all the way from first.
The Tigers had an opportunity in the 5th to tie the game with a runner on third. Appell, however, got Alli Davis to fly out ending the threat.
Down to their final out, the Tigers saw a glimpse of hope. Two singles set up a first and second situation for Davis. Davis hit a sinking line drive to centerfield that forced Harrell to make a play on the run. Just steps from the infield dirt, Harrell dove and made a spectacular catch to secure the win for the Fire.
Offensively, Holcomb and Pietrzak ended the game with two hits apiece. Appell’s consistency in the circle paved the way for the victory.
On Sunday, the Fire take on Middle Georgia State and William Carrey, a rematch of last year’s NAIA opening round semifinal game. The first pitch is scheduled for 11 a.m. with the following game beginning at 1 p.m.