Eagles Open Softball Season With Sweep
The Polk State College softball team opened the 2013 season with a sweep of visiting Lake Sumter Friday at the DiamondPlex in Winter Haven.
The Eagles defeated the LadyHawks 4-1 in the first game.
With two out and two runners on and a 3-2 count, Eagle freshman Haleigh Corbally (Havana, Fla.) slammed a two-run single in the bottom of the fifth to lead Polk to a 6-4 victory in the second game. Corbally also earned the victory in relief.
"It's nice to start off the season with two wins," said Polk coach Jeff Ellis. "That is the best Lake Sumter team I've seen since I've been here."
Freshman pitcher Taylor Bowen (Gainesville) earned the victory in the first game. Bowen (1-0) gave up one unearned run on five hits over seven innings. She fanned eight.
Bowen got out of a bases-loaded jam in the sixth. She posted a strikeout and enticed a ground ball.
"I told her that was why I brought her here," Ellis said. "I told her to put us on her back and get us out of here and she did."
Freshman second baseman Lara Cecchetti (Italy) also made a diving stop on a ground ball to save a run in the inning.
The LadyHawks took advantage of some early nerves by Polk at the beginning of the game.
Nicole Roper, the game's leadoff batter, walked and scored on an error to give the LadyHawks a 1-0 lead in the first.
"I knew they would have some nerves," Ellis said.
The Eagles settled down and scored three runs in the third on three hits for a 3-1 advantage. Cecchetti doubled in a run.
Freshman Maggie Roberts (Lakeland/Lake Gibson) and sophomore Brooke Threlkeld (Auburndale) each singled in runs.
The Eagles added an unearned run in the fifth as Freshman Stephanie Koutsumbaris (Palm Harbor) reached on an error and scored on a base hit by Roberts.
Lake Sumter's Mellissa Webb suffered the loss in the opener.
Polk came from behind to beat Lake Sumter in the second game.
Trailing 4-3, Corbally came off the bench in a tight spot in the fifth.
The freshman drilled her first collegiate hit to right field, driving in Jen Hamil (Texas), who had singled, and Roberts, who was hit by a pitch.
"She had been hitting the ball really well in practice," Ellis said.
Corbally took the mound in relief of starter Kayla Montgomery (Lakeland/GJHS) in the top of the sixth. She did not give up a hit over two innings.
Hamil, who was 2-for-3, and Rose Stevens (Bartow/Mulberry), each posted an RBI in the second game.
Eagle Kylee Stearns (Lakeland/Kathleen) was 2-for-4 with a double and a run scored.
Sophomore Amber Reveron (Auburndale) was 2-for-3 with a triple, RBI and a run scored.
Mackenzie Ellingsworth took the loss for Lake Sumter.
The Eagles play St. Johns River and Lake Sumter, Saturday, Jan. 26, in the Lead Off Classic in Clearwater.