Ocala, FL-- After snapping a 12-game losing streak to rival Santa Fe in the opener of a Mid-Florida Conference doubleheader, the College of Central Florida softball team couldn't complete the sweep thanks to strong pitching from its rival.
Jordan Lane went 3 for 3 in the opener and helped the Patriots to their first win over SFC since April 16, 2011 with a 4-1 victory. In the nightcap, SFC's Amber Maxey delivered her team's seventh shutout win in its last 11 games with a 2-0 triumph.
Lane, who is 6 for 13 this season against the Saints, came up with a run-scoring single during a two-run fifth for CF, which opened up a 2-1 game.
Jamie Nelson (11-2) earned the win in the opener for the Patriots by allowing just one run on two hits over five innings. Nelson retired SFC's Beri Scott on a grounder with the bases loaded and two outs in the fifth to keep CF ahead. Autumn Hanners came in to relieve Nelson to close out the final two innings, allowing just two hits for the save.
The Patriots trailed 1-0 after three innings, but Jessica Nathan, who was previously 2 for 17 lifetime against SFC, drilled a two-run single to deep center, scoring Hanners and Lane, to get things started. From there they never looked back, plating two more runs in the fifth from singles by Lane and Taylor Morrow to secure the win.
CF (33-12, 14-6), which entered the game with 33 losses in its last 35 games against the Saints, couldn't complete the sweep due to some struggles at key times on defense in the second game.
SFC (26-19, 13-5) scored both of its runs on errors by the Patriots and got a stellar effort from Maxey, who improved to 3-0 all-time against CF. It was the second career shutout for Maxey against the Patriots in Ocala.
The Patriots finished 0 for 6 with runners in scoring position. Maxey was able to retire FSU commit Amy Szymanowski on a fly ball with the bases loaded and two outs in the fifth.
SFC had scored an unearned run after the Patriots misplayed an outfield fly in the third and then added another run in the top of the seventh for insurance.
CF left seven runners on base in the second game and finished with five hits. Caylee Underwood led the way at the plate for the Patriots with two hits.
Taylor Bowen (15-6) didn't allow an earned run on four hits in five innings of work. She struck out five and walked just two.
Maxey, though, allowed five hits and walked two in going the distance.
Sid Masso went 2 for 4 with a double and one run scored for the Saints. Masso is now 7 for 13 with four runs scored and five RBI for SFC against CF this season. Celeste Bradshaw added two hits and is now 9 for 24 in her career against the Patriots.
The Lady Patriots will be back in action on Tuesday, April 15 at 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. at St. Johns River.