CLEARWATER, FLA.- The #3 Florida SouthWestern State Buccaneers flexed their muscles once again on Saturday, hammering Tallahassee 13-1 and shutting out #12 Seminole State 5-0 to finish opening weekend of the 2019 season a perfect 5-0.
On the heels of a flawless day one of competition, the Bucs took the field against Tallahassee on Saturday morning. FSW fell behind early as the Eagles scored a first inning run, but they stormed back with a pair of their own in the bottom half of the inning, getting a bases loaded walk and a fly out from Paris Woods to take a 2-1 lead.
They added on in a big way in the bottom of the second, getting an RBI single from Owen Bowers followed by a three run home run from Rebeca Laudino to open their lead up to 6-1. They weren't done yet though, getting an RBI double later in the frame from Elsie Rivera to push their lead to 7-1 after two complete.
FSW continued to pour it on the Eagles in the third, scoring four momre on an RBI double from Bowers, a sacrifice fly from Haley Ellefson, and a two run double from Lexi Moore to make it an 11-1 game.
Bowers finished off her big game with a two run home run in the fourth for good measure as the Bucs went on to win in run rule fashion 13-1 in five.
The Bucs outhit the Eagles 10-4 in the game, getting knocks from eight different players including Bowers who finished 3 for 3, missing the cycle by just a triple, while scoring three times and driving home four runs. Laudino reached base in all three of her plate appearances while scoring three runs and driving home three more. Sarah Clontz earned the win in the circle for the Bucs, going three innings and allowing just two hits and one run before giving way to Ellefson who pitched two scoreless to close it out.
The Bucs final game of the weekend was the one that they had circled on their calendar since the schedule came out last winter as they took on #12 Seminole State in a rematch of last year's FCSAA semifinal between the two teams.
FSW came out ready to go in the first inning, getting a 1-2-3 inning on the rubber from Preseason All-American Kelsi Collins and responded with three runs in the bottom half of the frame, courtesy a two run home run from Natavia Ellis and an RBI double from Bowers to take an early 3-0 lead.
The Bucs were back at it in the second as they used a pair of Raider errors and a sacrifice fly from Kayla Domon to add to their lead and take a 5-0 advantage after two.
Collins did the rest in the circle, spinning five innings of no hit ball, allowing just two baserunners, both via hit by pitch, before handing it over to Sarah Lawton who tossed two scoreless frames to close out Seminole and give the Bucs a 5-0 win.
FSW dominated even more than the final score indicated, outhitting the Raiders 11-1 in the contest and not allowing a single Seminole baserunner past second in the game. Shanika Klett, Madison Johnson, and Domon all had multi-hit games for the Bucs while Ellis provided the bulk of the damage with three RBI's for FSW. The pitching sparkled for the Bucs as Collins cruised through five with a no-hitter intact, striking out five to earn the win before handing the ball to Lawton who picked up her second save of the season with two scoreless.
FSW starts the year a perfect 5-0, outscoring their opponents 51-6 in the process. The 5-0 start matches the best five game start in program history, equaling the 2017 squad that finished with a program record 66 wins.
The Bucs will christen the Historic City of Palms Park for their home opener on Tuesday when they host Palm Beach State in a 5 PM doubleheader start. Admission and parking is free for all fans for the opener.