The Pirate softball team picked up a huge sweep of no. 15 Gulf Coast State College (GCS) on Sunday. The wins improved Pensacola State's (PSC) conference record to 9-7 and moved them into second place in the standings.
In game one the offense got things started in the top of the first when two runs were plated off a single up the middle from Madison Marshall. The Pirates kept things going in the second when they strung together four singles to extend their lead to 4-0.
The bottom of the third saw GCS get their offense going and a couple of triples helped them pull even at 4-4.
The Pirates immediately put pressure on the Commodores in the top of the fourth by loading the bases and regaining the lead courtesy of a wild pitch. The lead did not hold as GCS responded immediately in their half of the inning and the teams went into the fifth inning knotted at 5-5.
Danielle de Ruiter got things started with a single and advanced to scoring position when Lia Johnson followed with her second hit of the game. With two outs Alexis Guzman got the big hit up the middle to score de Ruiter and give the Pirates the lead for good.
Brittney Rayfield took over pitching duties in the third and was credited with the win while Savannah Foster entered the game in the sixth inning and shutdown the Commodores while picking up the save.
The Pirates road the momentum into game two as Foster received the start and struck out six in 4.2 innings of work while only giving up four hits and one run.
Things were scoreless until the third inning when the Pirates batted around and put five runs on the board. Danielle de Ruiter doubled to left field and advanced to third on a single from Lia Johnson. Both runners scored on a single up the middle from Kayla Leibman to make it 2-0. The RBI singles kept coming as Alexis Guzman, Shelby Thornsberry and Natalie Sorensen each picked one up and the Pirates ended the inning with a 5-0 lead.
The Commodores were able to pick up one run in their bottom half of the inning before Foster picked up a strikeout to end the threat.
The 5-1 score held until the bottom of the sixth when GCS pushed two runs across, but the Pirates used a 6-4-3-4-9 rundown to get out of the inning.
The Pirates picked up one insurance run in the top of the seventh when Koehler singled and pinch-runner Sadie Rusteika was able to score thanks to an error and RBI single from Sorensen.
Shelby Griffin had taken over pitching duties in the fifth inning and she held strong in the seventh to close out the game by inducing two groundouts and popup to secure the 6-3 win.
The Pirate offense picked up thirteen hits in the game with de Ruiter, Sorensen, Marshall, Guzman, and Koehler each contributing two.
The Panhandle Conference will enter into their last round of competition this week as everyone will play each other in single games to round out the regular season. The Pirates will travel to Tallahassee on Wednesday to face the Eagles at 4:00 pm.
Photo courtesy: Dave Johnson