The Pirate softball team picked up three wins over the course of the weekend. They hosted Chattanooga State on Thursday night in two close games before traveling to Gulf Shores, Alabama to play four games in the Sun Chief Classic. Continue reading below for individual game recaps.
Chattanooga State 1 PSC 0
The first game on Thursday featured strong pitching from both sides and the Pirates were shutout for the first time all season. The Tigers capitalized on an error in the second inning to score their lone run of the game. The Pirates were able to get runners on in the game, but they left eight runners stranded. Natalie Sorensen, Danielle de Ruiter and Sadie Rusteika each picked up one hit in the game. Jensen Strickland started the game on the mound for the Pirates and she gave up five hits and no earned runs in 3.1 innings of work. Kaeleen Koehler took the mound in relief in the fourth and threw a strong 3.2 innings as she only gave up one hit.
Chattanooga State 2 PSC 1
The second game saw the Pirates take the lead right away in the bottom of the first inning. Lia Johnson got things started with a double down the left field line and advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt. She proceeded to score on a ground ball to the right side off the bat of Kaeleen Koehler. The defense and pitching held for both sides until the fourth when the Tigers used a triple to drive in a run and tie the game. It stayed 1-1 until the top of the sixth when Chattanooga loaded the bases with no outs. Shelby Griffin entered the game to pitch for PSC and induced a ground ball that allowed Danielle de Ruiter to cut down the runner at home for the first out. Unfortunately for the Pirates the next batter singled to give the Tigers a 2-1 lead, but PSC did escape the bases loaded jam and did not give up anymore runs. The Pirates threatened in the sixth and seventh, but failed to push a run across. Johnson was the leading hitter for PSC as she went 2-for-3 in the game with a stolen base while Koehler went 1-for-3 with a triple. Koehler was the starting pitcher in the game and she threw five innings and struck out three before Shelby Griffin relieved her and only gave up one hit and struck out one.
PSC 7 Snead State 2
Lia Johnson led the game off with a walk and eventually scored on an error to give the Pirates an early lead and control of the game. Snead State used a couple of doubles to tie the game right away, but then the Pirates were able to add two more runs in the third. Madison Marshall drove in one run with a sacrifice fly and then Natalie Sorensen singled to drive in a run and make it 3-1. Snead responded with one run in the bottom of the third, but the Pirates put the game out of reach in the top of the sixth when they plated four runs. Danielle de Ruiter started things with a double and was followed by Caitlyn Yockey walking and then Alexandra Verardi singled to score one run. Lia Johnson followed with an RBI single and proceeded to steal second base before Jensen Strickland singled and drove in another run. Marshall rounded out the scoring in the inning and game with a sacrifice fly to make it 7-2. Danielle de Ruiter helped power the offense going 3-for-4 with two doubles while Marshall went 2-for-2 with two RBI's. Savannah Foster pitched the complete game and allowed eight hits while striking out seven.
Coastal Alabama - North 7 PSC 8
In the second game of the day on Friday the Pirates quickly jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first inning. Kayla Leibman and Kaeleen Koehler used back-to-back singles to set the table for Jensen Strickland to drive in both of them with a single up the middle. In the top of the third Coastal used three hits and a sacrifice fly to pull ahead 3-2 but the Pirates responded immediately in their half of the inning and plated five runs. Madison Marshall and Shelby Thornsberry got things started with back-to-back singles and were followed by Alexandra Verardi walking to load the bases. The Pirates proceeded to used four singles and a passed ball to make the score 8-2. Coastal picked up one run in the fifth before they made their move in the seventh. A single, double and triple quickly brought the score to 8-6 and an error make it 8-7 before Jensen Strickland struck out the last batter of the game. Lia Johnson helped power the offense going 3-for-4 with a run scored, RBI and stolen base. Danielle de Ruiter was 2-for-3 with a run scored and RBI while Kaeleen Koehler was 2-for-4 with a run scored and two RBI's. Strickland picked up her fifth win of the season when she came on in relief in the third inning and struck out four batters while only allowing two earned runs.
Coastal Alabama - East 1 PSC 9 (5 innings)
Pensacola State kicked off Saturday by picking up their 11th win of the year in a 9-1 ballgame versus Coastal Alabama-East. The Pirates got their offense going from the start when Madison Marshall doubled to drive in two runs in the first inning. An RBI-single from Kayla Leibman in the second inning made the score 3-0. Coastal got on the board in the top of the third courtesy of a couple hits and a fielder's choice. Holtzapfel, the Warhawk who scored, was injured when she slid into PSC's catcher and the game was delayed for forty-five minutes while she was tended to. When play resumed the Pirates extended their lead to 5-1 with the help of three singles and two walks. They plated three more runs in the fourth when Natalie Sorensen, Alexis Guzman and Danielle de Ruiter each drove in a run with a string of RBI singles. The game ended in the bottom of the fifth when Marshall drove in a run with a single to centerfield. Marshall and Kaeleen Koehler were both 3-for-4 in the game while de Ruiter, Guzman, Johnson and Sorensen each contributed two hits. Savannah Foster improved her record to 4-1 on the season as she struck out seven while scattering six hits.
Shelton State 4 PSC 0
In their eighth game of the week the Pirates came up short versus Shelton State and lost 4-0. The Buccaneers came out swinging and put two runs on the board immediately in the top of the first and added two more in the third to make the score 4-0. The Pirate offense could never come up with the big hit and they stranded 11 runners on base throughout the game. One bright spot in the game was Shelby Griffin who entered the game in relief in the third inning and quieted the Shelton bats by giving up only one hit while striking out four.
Photo courtesy: Dave Johnson