PENSACOLA, Fla. (April 3, 2012) - Tallahassee Community College's softball team wanted to make sure Tuesday wouldn't be its only trip to Pensacola, Fla., in April. Needing one win to wrap up a postseason berth, the Eagles got the job done, although it took both games of Tuesday's doubleheader against Pensacola State College.
Tallahassee dropped Tuesday's opener, 1-0 in eight innings, before claiming a 6-3 victory in the nightcap. The game two win snapped a four-game losing streak and, more importantly, assured the Eagles of an opportunity to defend its NJCAA Region 8B and FCSAA Gulf District Championships on April 27-29 back in Pensacola.
In the opener, Pensacola State's Eidy Tortolero and Tallahassee's Kristyn Barry hooked up in old fashioned pitchers' duel. The game went to extra innings scoreless before Pensacola State broke through and scored the winning run in the bottom of the eighth.
Both pitchers went the distance. Tortolero allowed only four hits; Barry (13-5), five in the tough-luck loss.
Game one was Tallahassee's second straight 1-0 loss and extended the Eagles' scoreless streak to 17 innings. Tallahassee put an end to that streak quickly in game two when it scored a run in the first then added single runs in the third and fourth innings.
Down 3-0, Pensacola State threatened in its half of the fourth, loading the bases with nobody out but game two starter and winner Ally Ledenham pitched her way out of the jam.
Tallahassee then scored three runs in the top of the fifth to take a 6-0 lead. The runs turned out to be the difference as Pensacola State scored two runs in the sixth to knock out Ledenham and added a run in the seventh against reliever Emily Smethurst.
Ledenham (9-2) allowed only three hits and struck out two before giving way to Smethurst in the sixth.
Amanda Ake led Tallahassee, offensively, in game two, going 3-for-4 with a home run and stolen base. Cherise McEnery added a home run.
Tallahassee (30-10) is now 7-5 in Panhandle Conference play and hosts Gulf Coast State College at 4 p.m. Thursday for Sophomore Day at the TCC Softball Complex.
Earlier on Tuesday, Tallahassee's eight-week run atop the FCSAA Softball Coaches' Poll came to an end when Chipola College vaulted to No. 1. The Eagles, who still received four first-place votes, dropped one spot to No. 2.
In the FCSAA Baseball Coaches' Poll, Tallahassee dropped one spot to No. 9.