Leesburg, Fla. – The beginning of the week did not start so hot for the Lake-Sumter State College softball team. However, it ended much better.
Tuesday and Thursday sent LSSC to six straight losses. Something the young team had not experienced before. State College of Florida – Manatee topped the Lakehawks 15-5, 3-0. St. Pete College came in Thursday and knocked off Lake-Sumter by scores of 3-1 and 14-4.
The streak stretched to six games after South Florida took game one Saturday, 5-3. Game two got off to a similar start with the Lakehawks down, 7-1. In the fifth and sixth innings, the bats finally broke out for six runs. Coupled with a run back in the first inning, the game was knotted up at 7-7.
A bases loaded walk to Brooke Ferguson brought in Taylor Dotson from third to give their team the lead. Later in the inning, a single from Rachel Phelps plated Hailey Dobbs for an important insurance run.
In the bottom of the inning, the Panthers had the tying run on third and the go-ahead run on second with one out. A fly ball to Dobbs in right field resulted in a double play as she caught the ball and proceeded to throw out the runner attempting to score from third to end the game. Allie Geier got the win for LSSC.
With the bats awake, the Lakehawks continued to roll into their next contest against Pasco-Hernando. Two runs in the first inning and then eight in the third put Lake-Sumter in run rule territory. Starting pitcher, Gillian Heinritz pitched very well with the big lead, allowing just one earned run in five innings of work to earn the 10-1 victory.
Game two was a back and forth battle in which Lake-Sumter used five different pitchers. Emily "Ernie" Murphy got the start in the circle going two innings, giving up zero runs. Dotson put LSSC on the board first, scoring on a passed ball in the second inning.
Heading into the sixth inning, the game was tied up, 2-2. The Bobcats were able to plate one run to take a 3-2 lead.
Trailing by one, Dotson led off the inning with a walk. A sacrifice bunt from Taylor Turner put Dotson in scoring positon. Jenna Curtis laid down a bunt to reach on a single, bringing in Dotson to tie the game at three apiece. Meghan Young would end up scoring on a ball to the backstop to put her team up, 4-3.
Geier came in to record her second save of the season. Kaitlyn Van Buren earned her third win pitching a clean sixth inning. Van Buren is now 3-0 on the year.
"It was great to see the team bounce back from adversity early in the week," said Head Coach, Jay Miller. "Seeing what works and what doesn't is extremely important for a young team. We have put the ship back on course and are headed in the right direction."
Through 17 games, Nini Underwood currently leads the team hitting .373. She is top five in the country in doubles with eight. Ferguson has 10 stolen bases and two triples while hitting .354. Dotson and Phelps are tied for the team lead with 13 RBIs each.