LAKELAND, Fla. – After four games in Clermont, Florida, the Fire returned home for the first time in seven days. For the second time in two years, Southeastern faced Calumet College of St. Joseph in a tripleheader. Contrary to last year, the Fire were able to win the first two games handedly 11-2 and 8-3. However, game three required one extra inning and one freshman hero to complete the sweep over the Crimson Wave
In game one, Southeastern scored more than one run in every single inning. During the first two frames, the Crimson Wave did not have an answer for the offensive attack possessed by the Fire. Southeastern established a 7-1 lead, highlighted by a Sam Holcomb two-RBI single, and a Natalie Hughes two run missile.
Heather Faulk and Haleigh Harrell combined for six of the Fire’s nine hits in game one. Faulk proved to be the Fire’s catalyst today hitting .833 and scoring eight runs on the day.
“Heather’s ability to get on base really set our team up for success today,” expressed head coach Anna Welsh.
The Crimson Wave collected their second run of the game off of the bat of Josseline Monge who singled up the middle.
When the Crimson Wave managed to score, the Fire would answer right back. In the bottom of the fourth, Dayna McDonald circled the pillows for the first time in her collegiate career to push the score to 11-2.
Southeastern did not slow down in game two. The Fire took advantage of a pair of errors by the Crimson Wave which allowed two runs to score. Hughes tallied her third RBI of the day with a single up the middle to give the Fire a 3-0 lead.
Ashley Appell delivered five shutout innings for Southeastern striking out five in the process.
The Crimson Wave broke the zero in the top of the sixth with an RBI single by Tiffany Gallinda.
Similar to that in the game one, the Fire answered with five runs on four hits. During the inning Britney Schmidt launched her second home run in two days to jump start the scoring.
Even though the Fire mounted such a promising lead, Calumet’s Joanna Drew hit a two run homer over the right field wall. Appell was able to record the final three outs of the game, securing Southeastern an 8-3 victory.
As Calumet searched for their first win of the season, the Crimson Wave forced Southeastern to battle back for a deficit late in the game.
The Fire were countered in the third inning as the Crimson Wave took a 2-1 lead. However, a double by Holcomb, and proper execution with runners in scoring position by Schmidt, allowed the Fire to regain the lead.
Momentum began to shift in favor of Calumet in the fifth inning as the team rallied for four runs, three of which came from Geena Locicero’s three-run homerun to dead-center field.
Behind the eight ball, the Fire began to chip away at the lead established by the Crimson Wave. Creative base running allowed the Fire to bring the game within one run with just three outs remaining.
In the bottom of the seventh, Harrell began the inning with a single up the middle. A wild pitch placed Harrell in scoring position for Holcomb. Just as she has produced in games one and two, the sophomore delivered the game tying RBI single.
With the international tie breaker in effect, Ramsey Sullivan was placed on second. Britt Robinson successfully converted the sacrifice bunt allowing Sullivan to advance 60 ft. from scoring. Lauren Watters, in the biggest spot of her young career, delivered the game winning RBI single into left-center field to complete the sweep.
Southeastern’s offense is starting to click on all cylinders. The Fire will put their 15-6 record on the line when they face Chestnut Hill on Tuesday, March 6.