Contact: C. Scott Shasteen
Feb. 2, 2017
Five different Lady Bucks drove in runs during a seven-run first inning as Motlow State beat Florida State College of Jacksonville 10-5 last week in the Kickoff Softball Classic in Clearwater, Fla.
The Lady Bucks (1-4, 0-0) were not able to get their offense going in other games against some of the nation's top softball programs during three days of competition in Florida. Motlow lost 10-1 to Miami Dade, 11-1 to Palm Beach, and 8-0 to both Central Florida, ranked No. 1 in the nation in the NJCAA preseason poll, and Seminole State. Motlow's sixth scheduled game in Clearwater, against St. Petersburg, was rained out on Sunday, Jan. 29.
Motlow was able to practice outside only once since Jan. 10, the official start of practice, due to extremely wet field conditions. The Lady Bucks will hope to get more opportunities to get on the field before their next scheduled contest, which is Thursday, Feb. 16, when they travel to Decatur, Ala., for a 1 p.m. doubleheader against Calhoun.
The win against Jacksonville is what Head Coach Janice Morey and her Lady Bucks will focus on. Caroline Abernethy led off the game with a single and moved to second on a sacrifice by Breanna Owens. Ashton Watkins tripled to drive in Abernethy with Motlow's first run. Riley O'Neal and Chelbie Gannon both walked, loading the bases with one out.
Ciera Dobbins' single drove in Watkins and kept the bases loaded, and Kat Sledge delivered with a two-run single to right field, scoring O'Neal and Gannon and sending Dobbins to second to give the Lady Bucks a 4-0 lead. Miranda Cooksey then doubled to right field, driving in both Dobbins and Sledge, and scored herself on Taylor Mitchell's groundout to give Motlow a 7-0 lead.
Jacksonville scored three runs in the bottom of the first off Motlow starter Summer Carter, who got the win by pitching four innings and allowing eight hits and five earned runs. Owens pitched the final three innings and gave up only four hits.
Abernethy and Cooksey each had three hits and drove in two runs, while Sledge and Mitchell had two RBI as well. Abernethy also added a pair of stolen bases, while Sledge and Cooksey each had one steal.