The Pirate softball team split a doubleheader with no. 4 nationally ranked Gulf Coast State on Wednesday.
Pensacola State dropped the first game 14-6 after falling behind early and never really finding their footing. Alexandra Verardi was 2-for-2 in the game with an RBI while Lia Johnson and Kaeleen Koehler were the only other Pirates to pick up hits in the game.
Game two saw Gulf Coast take an early 2-0 lead in the first inning before Shelby Griffin settled in on the mound with a strong defense behind her. The score held until the bottom of the fifth when Brittney Rayfield led off with a single and eventually scored on a sacrifice fly off the bat of Kayla Leibman to make it 2-1.
In the bottom of the sixth Shelby Thornsberry hit a double off the fence in left to put runners of second and third with one out. Gulf Coast made a pitching change and entered their game one winner and Jensen Strickland stepped in the box as a pinch hitter and promptly drove in two runs with a single to right field giving the Pirates a 3-2 lead. The offense wasn't done yet as Danielle de Ruiter drove in another run with a triple to right field making it 4-2.
The top of the seventh saw Gulf Coast get their lead off on, but the Pirates responded by turning a 5-4-3 double play and then catching a fly out to end the game and hand the Commodores their fourth loss of the season. Griffin threw a complete game and struck out three while only allowing three hits after the first inning.
The Pirates complete the first round of conference games with a 5-3 record and start the second round of double headers on Saturday when they host Tallahassee Community College at 1:00 and 3:00 pm.
Photo courtesy: Dave Johnson