The Pensacola State softball team opened conference play at Northwest Florida on Tuesday and split the doubleheader.
Madison Myers did the Raiders no favors as she went 4-for-4 at the plate while also swiping two bases in the game. She led the game off with a single and promptly stole second and advanced to third on a double from Kaeleen Koehler. An errant throw from the defense allowed both runners to score and gave the Pirates a two run lead.
A couple of home runs from Northwest in the bottom of the second tied the game at two going into the third inning. The Pirates did not waste any time in responding as back-to-back singles from Koehler and Alexis Guzman set the table to Ashley Valencia to drive them both in with a double and make it 4-2.
In the top of the fourth Sadie Rusteika led off with a double and later scored on Myers third hit of the game to extend the lead to 5-2.
The score held until the top of the seventh when Myers led off with a single, Koehler singled and Guzman drove a double to left field to drive in one run. Valencia followed with a single that plated two more runs to give the Pirates an 8-2 lead that they carried into the bottom of the seventh. A home run and error allowed Northwest to make the score 8-4 but a ground out ended the game.
Shayne O'Connell went the distance on the mound and picked up her 13th win of the season as she struck out 10 batters. Kaeleen Koehler was 3-for-4 (2B, 3 runs scored), Alexis Guzman was 2-for-3 (double, RBI, walk) and Ashley Valencia was 2-for-4 (5 RBI's and double).
Game two proved to be a dog fight with the Raiders eventually prevailing 9-8.
A couple errors from the PSC defense helped spot NWF a 4-0 lead after the first inning. The Pirates answered back in the top of the second when Alexis Guzman doubled to start things and later scored on a ground out to make it 4-1. With two outs already on the board PSC got the offense going again with three singles in a row from Sadie Rusteika, Raquel Latta and Madison Myers to make it 4-3. After two walks Guzman came to the plate again and laced a double to increase the lead to 6-4.
Northwest responded with a run in the bottom of the second to make it 6-5 Pirates. That score held until the bottom of the fourth when NWF tied the game up.
The Pirates retook the lead in the top of the sixth when Rusteika singled and eventually scored on a ball off the bat of Kayla Leibman. Pensacola added one more run with an RBI single from Guzman to make it 8-6.
Unfortunately for the Pirates the NWF bats strung together some hits and eventually took a 9-8 courtesy of a homerun. The Pirates threatened in the top of the seventh but could not push the tying run across.
Savannah Foster threw a complete game and struck out nine. Alexis Guzman was the leading hitter for the Pirates going 3-for-4 with two doubles and three RBI's. Sadie Rusteika was a perfect 3-for-3 at the plate with a walk and two runs scored.
The Pirates will return to action on Thursday, March 14th when they travel to Chipola for a doubleheader.