Lady Patriots sweep Santa Fe in doubleheader

The College of Central Florida’s Gabbie Haas (24) gets hit by the ball as she scores while Santa Fe’s catcher Neely Peterson (13) can’t make the out at the plate during a softball game at the College of Central Florida in Ocala, Fla. on Thursday, April 8, 2021. The CF Patriots won both games of the double-header. [Bruce Ackerman/Ocala Gazette] 2021.

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Posted April 8, 2021 | By Ainslie Lee,

The College of Central Florida’s Gabbie Haas (24) gets hit by the ball at home plate while Santa Fe’s catcher Neely Peterson (13) tries to make a play on Thursday, in Ocala. [Bruce Ackerman/Ocala Gazette]

No. 13 was unlucky for the Santa Fe Saints on Thursday after the College of Central Florida Lady Patriots softball team posted 13-5 and 13-3 wins in doubleheader action from the CF Softball Complex. 

The Lady Patriots briefly trailed the Saints after Santa Fe’s Madison Dixon sent a two-out shot over the left-field fence in the top of the second frame to take a 2-0 lead. 

CF answered in the bottom of the inning after freshman Hannah Meyer, a Forest alum, lifted a leadoff double to right field and later scored off a pair of singles by Isabella Pinto and Reese Barley. 

Madison Edwards, the Lady Patriots’ starting pitcher, saw a combined eight batters in the third and fourth innings, giving up a lone, solo home run to Santa Fe sophomore Story Giebeig in the fourth. 

Sparked by three straight base hits in the bottom of the fourth by CF’s Gabbie Haas, Chloe Nadler and Gianna Guerriero, the Lady Patriots would end up scoring five runs. 

Glory Thompson drew a bases loaded walk, while Emily Dixon, Meyer and Pinto each recorded singles to score runs. A Saints error in left field, allowed Sierra Carter to score from third and bring the score to 8-3. 

“Our top of our order has been huge for us, our catalyst,” CF head coach Mike Lingle said. “They kinda set the tone. They kinda put pressure on the (defense) right away.” 

The Lady Patriots strung together another five-run inning in the fifth after Santa Fe reliever Taylor Barrett gave up two walks to open the inning. A double from Guerriero, a single from Thompson and three more walks helped CF earn the run-rule victory in the opening game. 

Thompson went 3-for-3 with two RBIs. 

The nightcap game started eerily similar to the opener. 

The Saints jumped out to a 2-0 lead after Santa Fe’s Neely Peterson and Ashlyn Rodgers tagged CF sophomore pitcher Savannah Barnett for back-to-back solo home runs. 

But the Lady Patriots strung together some small ball offense in the bottom of the second frame for three runs. 

“I feel like anytime we get behind it’s no big deal,” Lingle said. “Pretty calm and cool under pressure.” 

The three-run inning started with a leadoff double from Meyer, followed by a two-RBI single from Thompson to put CF ahead 3-2. 

And just like the game before, once the Lady Patriots were on top, there was no looking back. 

A six-run inning in the bottom of the fourth blew the game wide open. 

CF’s Odalys Cordova capped off the high-scoring inning by popping a three-run home run to center field, her second long ball of the afternoon. 

Barnett and the Lady Patriots allowed just one more run the rest of the game. 

CF tacked on four more runs in the fifth inning to secure a second run-rule victory. 

Guerreiro finished the second game 4-for-4 with two RBIs, while Cordova went 2-for-2 with a home run and five RBIs. 

“That was huge for us. It was us and them at the top of the conference standings,” Lingle said of the Saints. “And by us sweeping them, that’ll put us up three (games) with only six to go.” 

The Lady Patriots (35-6), who are the fifth rank junior college softball team in the country, will travel to Florida State College at Jacksonville on Saturday for double-header action at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. 

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