West Florida 2, Florida Southern
West Florida 2, Florida Southern 1May 12, 2005
HUNTSVILLE, AL Natalie Manis hit a leadoff home run in the bottom of the sixth inning while Amber Browning won her 34th game of the season as #2 West Florida defeated #20 Florida Southern 2-1 in the second round of the NCAA Division II South Region Softball Tournament.
The Moccasins (37-10) had earned the right to play the top-seeded Argonauts (59-4) after a 9-0 win over Saint Leo earlier in the day. They fell into the losers bracket though when Manis homered off the top of the centerfield fence leading off the bottom of the sixth inning. It was one of only four hits allowed by FSC pitcher Megan Brown, who also struck out four and walked four.
Florida Southern had just tied the game in the top half of the inning with some help from the West Florida defense. After Stephanie Huber singled to start the sixth and was bunted to second, Michelle Tatlock hit a high chopper that Browning leaped for and slowed down with her glove. With no play on Tatlock at first, second baseman Whitney Gay attempted to field the ball behind the circle but kicked the ball into left field, allowing Huber to score the tying run.
Both pitchers had worked out of jams early in the game before the Argonauts turned a one-out walk to Gay in the bottom of the fourth into the first run. Pinch-hitter Nora Dunham delivered the RBI with a base hit to center after Gay had been bunted into scoring position.
Browning improved to 34-4 with the win, though Florida Southern reached her for eight hits. However, the Mocs left two runners on base in the first, third and seventh innings. Jesse Shepherd, who had three hits in the first game Thursday, added three more in the second game but was one of those stranded in each of the three innings.
Shepherd kept the game alive for Florida Southern with her two-out single in the seventh after Sarah Kohlbrenner had reached base on a walk. Huber then narrowly missed giving the Mocs the lead when she lined a pitch that was inches foul down the first base line. Browning was able to end the game after that when Huber hit the ball hard up the middle where shortstop Meghan Stastook fielded it and flipped to Gay for the force out at second base.
Florida Southern will play Friday in the losers bracket at 1:30 central time against Albany State, an 8-0 loser to Lynn earlier on Thursday.
-- Courtesy Florida Southern