Lady Patriots drop game late to Titans
The College of Central Florida’s pitcher Madison Edwards (12) tags out Eastern Florida State College’s Lauren Lightbody (0) at third base during a softball game at the College of Central Florida in Ocala, Fla. on Tuesday, March 23, 2021. [Bruce Ackerman/Ocala Gazette] 2021.
While the Lady Patriots were anticipating a double-header against the Eastern Florida State College Titans on Tuesday, a miscommunication with the umpires resulted in only one game, and that started an hour late.
Despite leading the game and holding the Titans to a shutout through four innings, the Lady Patriots allowed five runs in the fifth inning to give Eastern Florida the lead and eventual 5-4 win.
“It’s just tough to recover that late in the game,” College of Central Florida head coach Mike Lingle said. “I know we can and they feel like they can.”
After all, the Lady Patriots struck first.
In their opening at-bat of the afternoon, leadoff freshman hitter Gianna Guerriero opened the game with a single, before being driven home by sophomore Glory Thompson. While Thompson’s hit was only a single, a slew of errors by the Titans’ defense allowed Thompson to reach third. Another self-inflicted wound in the field would allow Thompson to score and give CF a 2-0 lead.
The Lady Patriots would go on to generate another two-run inning in the bottom of the third behind a string of hits from the middle of CF’s lineup. Redshirt sophomore Odalys Cordova knocked a double into play and was later driven home by a single off the bat of redshirt sophomore Emily Dixon.
Dixon would also cross home plate thanks to a single from freshman Kamaya Cohen to score the Lady Patriots’ fourth and last run of the afternoon.
While his team’s bats went cold, Lingle credited Eastern Florida State’s ace pitcher, freshman Trinity Howard. Howard gave up six hits while dishing six strikeouts on Tuesday.
“She was working so fast,” Lingle said of Howard. “We couldn’t find our tempo. We usually apply the pressure, but I feel like we were feeling pressure on offense. Just couldn’t get timely hits.”
Meanwhile, the Titans’ found their offensive rhythm in the fifth inning with two outs against them.
CF sophomore pitcher Savannah Barnett gave the Titans two free bases to start the inning before giving up a single to help the Titans find the scoreboard with their first run.
But a grand slam crushed by freshman Roneice Pharoah scored the additional four runs needed to win the game.
“No excuses,” Lingle said. “They came up clutch with two outs. Two-out hits win ball games. That’s what they did, unlike us.”
The No. 3-ranked College of Central Florida softball team dropped to 26-5 on the year. The Lady Patriots return to action at the CF Softball Complex on Thursday when they host the Seminole State College Raiders for a double-header at 2 p.m. and 4 p.m.