SANFORD, Fla.- The #3 Florida SouthWestern State Softball team earned two more solid regular season wins on Sunday, first putting it on Tallahassee 12-4 before upending the defending National Champion Chipola Indians 8-4 to wrap up a perfect 4-0 weekend at the Courtney Miller Invitational in Sanford.
Everything came in fours in the Bucs first game of the day against Tallahase, thankfully for FSW, most of the quartets landed during their halves of the innings.
The Bucs got off to a good start as Feline Poot cracked a two run home run in the bottom half of the 1st to give them a quick 2-0 lead and two batters later, Haley Ellefson helped her own cause with a two run single to put FSW in front early 4-0.
After a quick 1-2-3 inning from Ellefson in the top of the 2nd, the Bucs offense was back at it again. First it was Natavia Ellis lifting a sacrifice fly to bring one in and make it a 5-0 game. Two pitches later Poot ripped an RBI single to stretch the lead to 6-0 and later in the inning a Tallahassee error and a sac fly from Ellefson cushioned the Bucs advantage to 8-0.
The Bucs went down in order in each of their next two at bats as the teams cruised to the 5th with the score still 8-0 in favor of FSW.
FSW was just one strike away from both a run rule win and a no-hitter in the top of the 5th, but a single by the Eagles ended the no-hit bid and extended the game for the time being. Another single, followed by a misplayed fly ball for the Bucs allowed Tallahassee to score two runs and keep the inning alive, and they made FSW pay, getting a two run home run three pitches later to quickly cut the lead in half at 8-4.
With one out in the bottom of the 5th, Ellefson kept her big game alive, lifting a solo home run to right to extend the lead to five at 9-4. With two outs in the frame, the Bucs got something else cooking, scoring on an infield single from Lindsey Corbin and then getting a second run on a throwing error to make it 11-4. With the game ending run on third base, Ellis slapped a single the other way to bring the runner home to finish off a 12-4 run rule win for the Bucs.
The high powered FSW offense pounded out 15 hits in the win, getting contributions from up and down their batting order. Ellefson was not only the winning pitcher with 3 1/3 hitless innings in the circle, but she also went 2-2 with a homer and 4 RBIs at the dish. The top of the FSW lineup did its job as Corbin and Rebeca Laudino combined for 6 hits and 5 runs scored, while Poot took advantage of the traffic on the bases from the two, going 2-2 with 3 RBIs in the win.
The Bucs most anticipated game of the early season was up next as they took on defending National Champions and #5 ranked Chipola in a rematch of the 2019 District H Championship game that ended FSW's season.
FSW struck early against the Indians as Corbin singled with one out and scored on an RBI double from Ellis to give the Bucs a quick 1-0 lead. On the next pitch Poot blasted a two run home run to right to boost the Bucs lead to 3-0.
Chipola got a run back in the top of the 2nd on a solo home run and added another in the 3rd to cut it to a 3-2 lead for FSW.
The Bucs got those runs back in the bottom of the 3rd as Ellis ripped another RBI double to make it 4-2 and she scored on an RBI single from Taylor Jensen to push the lead back to three at 5-2.
FSW cushioned their lead in the 4th as Corbin left the building with a solo shot to center and Poot continued her huge day with her third long ball of the morning, this one a two run bomb to make it 8-2 Bucs.
Chipola got two back on a home run in the 6th, but freshman Alyssa O'Donnell wouldn't allow anything else, closing the Indians out for an 8-4 FSW victory.
The meat of the FSW order was once again spectacular as Corbin, Ellis, and Poot went a combined 7-11 with 7 RBIs and 8 runs scored in the win. Playing in the FSW/Chipola rivalry for the first time, Poot clubbed two home runs and drove in 4 for the Bucs. O'Donnell worked around traffic all day for FSW in the circle, earning the win in just her second career start, going the distance and allowing 8 hits and 4 runs while striking out 7.
The perfect 4-0 weekend pushes FSW to 16-1 overall on the year.
After playing just 2 of their first 17 games of the year at home, FSW will now embark on a 10 game home stand, beginning on Wednesday when they take on ASA Miami beginning at 4:00 from City of Palms Park in Downtown Fort Myers.