TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (April 10, 2014) – Tallahassee Community College claimed a share of the Panhandle Conference Softball Championship – its first in 16 seasons – on Thursday, sweeping a doubleheader from Pensacola State College, 9-5 and 3-0.
Tallahassee (33-10, 17-3 PC) last won the PC Championship in 1998 when current head coach Patti Townsend was an assistant on Maria Mendoza's staff.
The Eagles can clinch the PC Championship outright with one more win. Their next opportunity will come Saturday at Gulf Coast State College.
Through five innings on Thursday, it appeared the celebration might have to wait even longer. Pensacola State took a 4-0 lead to the bottom of the sixth but as they have so many times this season, the Eagles used the big inning to turn the game upside down.
In fact, Tallahassee sent 16 batters to the plate in the sixth and scored nine times to seize control of the game.
An error by Pensacola State Jessica Briggs allowed the leadoff hitter, Ashley Smith, to reach base. By the time Smith batted for the second time in the inning, Tallahassee had tied the game and loaded the bases for the Eagle shortstop.
Smith delivered, smacking a bases-clearing triple to give Tallahassee a 7-4 lead. The Eagles tacked on two more runs, giving pitcher Ashley Dobson plenty of breathing room.
Pensacola State pushed one run across in the seventh but Dobson shut the door from there and closed out the 9-5 win.
Smith went 2-for-3, scored twice and drove in three runs. Te Reo Powhiri Matautia was also 2-for-3 and scored two runs. Brianna Murillo was 2-for-4 with a run scored and two RBI.
In game two, Mariah Rivera scattered six hits in the 3-0 victory.
Tallahassee scored two runs in the first – a throwing error on catcher Dee Rodriguez allowed Smith to score from third and Matautia came home on Alexis Huss' sac-fly.
Brenda Santana gave the Eagles a 3-0 lead in the fourth, singling home Matautia.
Santana went 2-for-3 in game two.
The three runs were more than enough for Rivera, who struck out six en route to her ninth PC victory in ten decisions.
Saturday's doubleheader at Gulf Coast State begins at 2 p.m. eastern.