Leesburg, Fla. – Friday marked the season opener for the Lake-Sumter State College softball team and they got it started with a bang.
Georgia Highlands College made their way down south for the third year in a row to open up at Lake-Sumter. The Lakehawks started the season off with a seven run bottom of the first inning which was highlighted by a three run home run by Nicole Smith.
LSSC went on to plate 13 runs on 15 hits to finish the game off in the sixth inning, 13-5. Casey Allen and Emily Kolwicz led the way with three hits each. Brandi Davis earned the win in the circle with Cissy Doolittle coming in for the two inning save in the fifth.
Game two was a tightly contested battle with both teams exchanging two runs in the first. GHC took a one run lead in the third inning, before the Lakehawks knotted it back up, 3-3 in the fourth. The Chargers managed to bring around two runs in the top of the fifth. Genesis Aviles crushed a solo home run in the bottom half of the inning, but the game was called due to darkness, leaving LSSC one run short, 5-4. Kayla Reichardt was tagged with the loss.
The team traveled to Clearwater the next day for the annual JUCO Kickoff event. Game one had Lake-Sumter pitted against the No. 2 team in the country according to the pre-season NJCAA poll, Florida Southwestern. The Bucs took down the Lakehawks in five innings, 11-0.
As the sun faded away and the chill took over, LSSC was ready for their night cap against South Florida State College. The Panthers had swept the Lakehawks in four games last season. SFSC jumped out to an early 1-0 lead in the top of the second before Lake-Sumter answered with five runs in the bottom of the inning.
South Florida continued to battle, scratching two runs across in the third. A double by Aviles brought around Sarah Grindrod for the insurance run. The run became a big one with the Panthers adding two more in the top of the sixth. Brandi Davis, who had originally started the game, returned to the circle to get the final six outs in a 6-5 victory. Davis picked up her second win of the weekend.
Kolwicz collected two more hits in the game, ending the opening weekend hitting .583 with five RBI's and two stolen bases. Smith also added two hits in the win, leaving her with a .500 on-base percentage to start the season.