CLERMONT, Fla. – Heading into Monday’s games at Legends Way, the Fire were in the midst of a three-game slide. A thrilling 1-0 victory over Point Park University in extra innings snapped the losing streak. However, in game two, Mt. Vernon Nazarene University’s four-run first inning was enough run support for the duration of the contest. The Cougars would hold on to the lead and defeat the Fire 4-2.
Pitching set the standard in game one as Hannah Bodenhorn dealt an eight inning complete game shutout, fanning 10 batters in the process. All game long, the Pioneer’s bats had no answer for Bodenhorn. Through the first three innings, the native of Nashville Tennesee struck out five.
“Hannah was so dominant inside the circle tonight,” expressed head coach Anna Welsh. “The swings-and-misses she was able to generate were a testament to the way she was making the ball dance in the strike zone,” said Welsh.
The Fire’s best opportunity to score came in the top of the bottom of the first with two outs when Haleigh Harrell reached base on an error. Harrell, the freshman from Lakeland, Florida, stole both second and third but the Fire were not able to manufacture the run. The Fire totaled five sporadic hits throughout the contest and would not strike until extra innings.
With the international tiebreaker rule in effect Ramsey Sullivan was placed on second base. Lauren Watters successfully laid down a sacrifice bunt, advancing Sullivan to third. Natalie Hughes came into to pinch hit with two outs in the inning. On the 2-1 pitch, the ball squeaked away from the catcher allowing Sullivan to score from third. The Fire improved to 9-4 this season on the walk-off wild pitch.
Harrell, ended game one with a pair of hits, while Heather Faulk, Britney Schmidt, and Sullivan collected the other three knocks for the Fire.
In game two Mt. Vernon Nazarene applied the pressure from the opening inning. A four-run first placed the Fire in an unfortunate situation.
Southeastern made solid contact more often in game two which led to a run in the second inning. With one out, Schmidt drew a walk and later advanced to second on the ground ball by Kiah Ferrell. After fouling off a couple of pitches, Watters hit a laser into the left-centerfield gap scoring Schmidt from second.
The Fire would tack on an additional run in the fourth with the help of heads-up base running by both Watters’ and Ferrell.
After coming in relief in the first inning, Ashley Appell proceeded to hold the Cougars scoreless for the remainder of the game.
Fire softball aims to get back on the winning track Tuesday when they face-off against Clearly University at 2 p.m. and 4:30 p.m.