AMERICUS, Ga. – Playing the second double header in as many days can be a challenge for any team. Doing so against the 11th ranked team in the nation only strengthens that challenge. It was those circumstances the Georgia Southwestern Lady Hurricanes faced as they hosted the #11 Rollins College Tars (6-1) on Sunday afternoon.
With temperatures hovering in the low 40's throughout both games, the chill that struck much of Sumter County would also reach the GSW bats. The Lady Hurricane offense would only score two runs over the course of the two games despite walking ten times.
GAME ONE- GSW Lady Hurricanes-2 #11 Rollins College-5
Similar to the patterns of their previous games, the first game of the day saw the Blue & Gold draw first blood before losing the lead and the game in later innings.
Second baseman Mason Moreland would get things going for GSW with a RBI single in the bottom of the second inning to give the Lady 'Canes the early 1-0 lead. Yet Rollins would get the equalizer in the next half inning as Monica Meadows would score the tying run after Krista Rodden was hit by a Jessica Martin pitch.
The one-run third inning by Rollins was followed by a three-run fourth inning compliments of the Meadows-Rodden combination yet again. Meadows would smash a double down the leftfield line driving in one run, and Rodden would drive home two more after two walks. The Tars would lead the Lady Hurricanes 4-1 after four innings.
Coach Ward and company looked as if they were poised to make a run after senior Gabby Buck hit a solo home run in the fifth inning, but they wouldn't score after the Buck bomb.
After scoring a late insurance run, Rollins would claim victory by a final score of 5-2. Rollins starting pitchers, Hope Bitzer, would last all seven innings in the win as she only gave up one earned run, walked seven batters and struck out eight Hurricanes.
Martin would get the loss in the decision. She would throw three and two thirds innings while surrendering four runs on four hits while walking five batters.
GAME TWO- GSW Lady Hurricanes-0 #11 Rollins College-6
The rough sledding for the GSW offense was even tougher going in game two. After only mustering two runs on four hits and seven walks, the visiting Rollins pitchers would give Georgia Southwestern even more fits in the shutout loss.
The Blue & Gold would receive three free passes from Rollins starting pitcher Amye McIntyre and collect four hits of their own, but would be unable to get a runner home. For much of the game, McIntyre and GSW's Brittny Dennison were locked in a pitcher's duel.
Both pitchers threw scoreless ball over the course of the game's first five innings. Rollins would score first with a Veronica Alred RBI, but Dennison would be able to get out of the inning after only surrendering one run.
With the score 1-0 going into the seventh, and final inning, it appeared Georgia Southwestern had a nail biter on their hands. However, that feeling would soon disappear via a Tara Turner solo home run and a Hope Bitzer grand slam in the top half of the seventh inning. Those five runs made it 7-0 Rollins, which would be the final score.
Amye McIntire would go the distance and record the complete game shutout. She scattered four hits over her seven innings of work while also walking three. She would record ten strikeouts in the game, which included the first six outs she recorded.
Sunday's two losses set the Georgia Southwestern record back to three wins and seven losses so far. It will be another quick turnaround for the Lady 'Canes as they will host West Georgia on Valentine's Day (Tuesday) with the first game scheduled to start at two p.m.