WINTER PARK, Fla. (April 5, 2012) - After the 16th ranked Tars (30-7, 11-3) outdueled the Bucs (34-8, 13-4) in game one, 3-0, Rollins dropped game two, 3-2, after a late game rally fell just short.
Game one featured a pitching matchup of two of the best in the country, Rollins starter Hope Bitzer squared off with Barry ace Brianna Smith, both ranked in the top of the conference in pitching statistics across the board.
It was the Tars that got to Smith first, scoring one in the third courtesy of a Monica Meadows solo blast. The homerun was the senior's fifth of the season, breaking a four way tie with fellow seniors Bitzer, Meredith Foster, and Lawna Hunter to give her the team lead.
Rollins would strike again in the fourth, platting two runs to open up a three run lead. The Tars would put runners on second and third with two outs, bringing sophomore Amye McIntyre to plate.
McIntyre singled over short to plate Hunter and Foster. Hunter had reached on a hit by pitch and Foster singled earlier in the frame.
The three run cushion would be more than enough for Bitzer (16-3) as she coasted the rest of the way to earn the complete game shutout, her seventh of the year. Bitzer gave up no runs on five hits while striking out four.
Smith (18-5) took the loss, giving up three runs on seven hits while striking out four and walked two.
It was Barry who struck first in game two, scoring two in the fourth off of Rollins game two starter, McIntyre.
After Alyssa Goldsmith reached on an error to open the inning, game one starter Smith sent a towering shot down the line in right that snuck just inside the foul pole for the homerun, her second on the year.
The Tars would answer with a run of their own in the bottom half of the fourth on an RBI single from senior Krista Rodden that scored junior Aimee Halpin. Halpin had led off the inning with a double to the fence in right center.
The Bucs would add some insurance in the sixth, scoring one run on more costly miscues by the usually sure handed Tars. After a Rollins throwing error put Barry runners on second and third, the Bucs executed a squeeze play to perfection to take a 3-1 lead after six.
A Rodden solo home run in the seventh brought the Tars back within one but that is as close as it would get as Barry starter Alexia Yohe shut the door to end any Rollins' come back hopes.
Yohe (13-3) earned the win, going seven innings while giving up two runs on three hits.
McIntyre (9-4) suffered the loss, also going seven innings while giving up three runs, one earned, on four hits. She also struck out six and walked one.
Both teams will be back Friday for the rubber match, first pitch is set for 12 pm. Fans can follow along with all the action on the Tars Sports Network at RollinsSports.com.