Clearwater, FL - Tallahassee Community College opened the 2014 NJCAA softball season on Saturday and picked up a pair of one-run victories at the annual JUCO Kickoff Classic and Tournament in Clearwater, Fla., defeating Mid-Florida Conference foes Florida State College at Jacksonville and St. Johns River State College.
In the 3-2 win over St. Johns River State, former Tallahassee Lincoln standout Mariah Rivera tossed a complete-game four-hitter in her collegiate debut. She struck out nine, including back-to-back strikeouts to kill a Vikings rally in the sixth and strand the tying and go-ahead runs in scoring position.
After falling behind 1-0, Tallahassee tied the game in the fourth and took the lead for good one inning later on Danielle Patterson's RBI-single. The Eagles added what proved to be the winning run in the sixth when Brianna Murillo singled home Te Reo Powhiri Matautia from second.
Matautia went 2-for-3 with a run scored and an RBI in the win.
In the first game of the day, sophomore Ashley Dobson pitched the Eagles to a 4-3 win over Florida State College. She allowed no earned runs on five hits and, although she walked five, she answered with seven strikeouts.
Tallahassee jumped out to a 4-0 lead, beginning with Ashley Heath-Smith's sac-fly in the first. The Eagles scored another run in the third and tacked on two more in the fourth, courtesy of RBI-singles from Karley Yeager and Patterson.
Dobson carried a 4-1 lead to the bottom of the seventh and retired the first two batters but a two-out error extended the game and Florida State College took advantage. The Blue Wave plated two runs and had the tying run on base, but Dobson got Taylor Deirckson to line out to center to end the game.
Tallahassee (2-0) will return to play one week from today at another annual event on its schedule - the Triple Crown College Classic in St. Augustine, Fla.
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