PENSACOLA, Fla. — The University of West Florida scratched across single runs in the fourth and fifth innings, then relied on the strong pitching in the circle by Becca Taylor to take a 1-0 lead on …
PENSACOLA, Fla. — The University of West Florida scratched across single runs in the fourth and fifth innings, then relied on the strong pitching in the circle by Becca Taylor to take a 1-0 lead on Lee University in the best 2-of-3 Super Region series being staged at the West Florida Softball Complex.
The 2-0 loss on Thursday afternoon to the 10th-ranked Lady Argos means that the Lady Flames must win the opening game today at 2:30 and then return at 5 p.m. in their effort to move on to the NCAA Division II Championship in Salem, Virginia.
West Florida improved to 44-13 with the victory, and the Lady Flames dropped to 36-19.
Coach Emily Russell's club watched a couple of opportunities go by the boards when they failed to execute a pair of sacrifice bunts. The Lady Flames also had a pair of hard-hit balls just barely go foul.
The Lady Argos outhit the Lady Flames 6-5 and neither club was guilty of an error. Both teams left six runners on base.
Kayla Louie had two hits in the loss, while Courtney Crawford, Taylor Moran and Zoe Miller also hit safely. The Argos got doubles and singles from Tiona Hill and Meghan Toney. Caitlin Steel also added a two-base knock and Rachel Wright had the other hit for the winners.
Coach Russell’s comments about the game
"It was a good day. We were one or two balls away from being on the other side of this. Taylor pitched well and it was a close game. They got a few two-out hits and that was the difference. I expect another good game tomorrow. We are in a good place mentally and our girls are ready to play two tomorrow."
How West Florida scored
Meghan Toney reached on an infield hit and a sacrifice bunt moved her to second base. A double by Tiona Hill pushed the first run across the dish in the bottom of the fourth inning.
West Florida put an insurance run on the board in the fifth. Caitlin Steel doubled and reached third on a sacrifice bunt. Toney's single to left scored Steel. The rally ended on a great running catch by right-fielder Annabeth Pruett.
About the pitching
Becca Taylor (27-8) held the Lady Flames to only five hits. She struck out five and walked only one in lowering her ERA to 2.14. Lee freshman hurler Taylor Moran (14-6) was the hard-luck loser. She surrendered only six hits over six innings, allowing two earned runs while recording four strikeouts and issuing two free passes. Her earned run average stands at 1.40.
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