By DEVON CONWAY
UT Softball took on the Barry University Buccaneers in a three game match up on March 24 and 25. The series ended 2-1 in favor of the Spartans.
In the first game of the series, the Spartans fell 4-1 to the Buccaneers. Sophomore Makaleigh Dooley pitched 5.1 innings, recording five strikeouts and two walks. The other pitcher for the Spartans, freshman Corynn Miner, pitched the remaining 1.2 innings, giving up just one run on two hits. The Spartans opened up the scoring in the fourth inning, as Dooley drove in junior Elly Pillers. In the fifth inning, the Buccaneers tied the game 1-1. In the sixth inning, the Buccaneers struck again, hitting a three-run homerun to left center-field, making the game 4-1 in their favor.
In the second game, the Spartans surged to beat the Buccaneers 4-3. The Buccaneers struck first, taking a 2-0 lead against the Spartans in the fifth inning. The Spartans answered back in the fifth, scoring four runs. For the first run, Dooley drove in pinch-runner sophomore Lauren Pascoe, while freshman Maddie Farrell proceeded to drive in two more runs during the inning. The Spartans did not stop, senior Bre Setree drove in sophomore Erica Matich, scoring the fourth run for the Spartans in the fifth inning.
In the top of the seventh, the Buccaneers were able to score one run to make the game 4-3, but the Spartans held their lead and won the game.
“On Friday, we weren’t as focused as we usually are and we let that get in our way causing the loss on Friday, but we came out Saturday ready to attack and win two games to win the series,” Farrell said “We pushed and never gave up.”
In the last game of the series, the Spartans beat the Buccaneers 5-4 to conclude the series. To open the game, junior Sahrina Cortes tripled, following by Press bringing her home, giving the Spartans a 1-0 lead. In the second inning, the Buccaneer fired right back, scoring a run to tie the game. In the third inning, Farrell, drove in two runs, giving UT a 3-1 lead. The Buccaneers came right back and tied the game 3-3 in the fourth inning. In the fifth inning, UT took a lead for the third time, as Miner drove in pinch-runner Pascoe. Yet again, the Buccaneers came back to tie the game in the seventh inning, scoring one run. The Buccaneers had a pair of runners in scoring position with two outs that threatened to take the lead, but Dooley saved UT by allowing a fly ball to left field that was caught by UT. Senior Jennie Sittloh hit the game winning run with a walk-off double to left field, allowing senior Kelsey Humphrey to score.
“It was a great feeling because I had been struggling to catch on the Buccaneers pitching changeup, but I finally figured it out when it mattered the most. We came back from Friday pumped up and hungry. I think Saturday we really pulled it together and put everything we’ve been working so hard on to came out with two wins.” said Sittloh.
Next week, the Spartans are set to take on the Palm Beach Atlantic Sailfish in a three game matchup on April 7 and 8 at home. “My goals for the rest of the season is to become more pumped during the games and get everyone excited with every pitch and inning,” Miner said. “Another goal is to win every series and stay at the top of my game, pushing my limits and showing everyone what I’m made of” said Miner.