COLUMBUS, GA.- The #1 Florida SouthWestern State Buccaneers dominated the competition on day one of the NFCA Leadoff Classic on Friday, sweeping through pool play with three wins to put themselves in position to run through bracket play on Saturday at the tournament.
In their first game of a busy day, the Bucs squared off with San Jacinto.
San Jac came out firing in the first as their first four hitters reached base to begin the game, plating a run and taking an early 1-0 lead on the Bucs.
FSW answered in the bottom half of the inning as Paris Woods ripped a two out, two run double to put the Bucs in front 2-1.
The Bucs stretched their lead to 3-1 with a solo home run from Owen Bowers to start the third.
Bowers collected her second RBI of the game with a groundout in the fourth and behind her Pallas Potter and Woods found holes with RBI singles to push the Bucs lead to 6-1.
That was more than enough for Sarah Lawton, who came in in relief in the first inning and twirled seven shutout frames for FSW. The Bucs added two more runs late on a bases loaded walk to Bowers and an RBI single from Lindsey Corbin to finish off an 8-1 win for FSW.
FSW outhit San Jac 13-4 in the contest, getting three hits from Corbin and three RBI's each from Woods and Bowers. Lawton earned the win out of the bullpen, improving to 4-0 on the year, going a defacto complete game while allowing just two hits and striking out seven.
The second game of the day was a fun matchup as the NJCAA Division I top ranked Bucs took on the NJCAA Division III top ranked Rocky Valley Golden Eagles.
As they have had a habit of doing, the Bucs struck early, plating a pair of first inning runs to jump out to a 2-0 lead.
It remained a 2-0 game to the fourth when the Bucs added to their lead on a two run bomb to left off the bat of Natavia Ellis to make it 4-0.
FSW starter Kelsi Collins spun 1-2-3 frames in the fourth and fifth innings to keep it a 4-0 game and the Bucs padded their lead again in the top of the sixth on an RBI single from Madison Johnson to make it 5-0.
Rocky Valley finally broke through with two outs in the seventh, but the lone run wasn't nearly enough as the Bucs finished off a 5-1 win to improve to 2-0 on the day.
The Bucs pounded out 11 hits in the win, getting two hits apiece from Johnson, Woods, and Rebeca Laudino. Collins improved to 12-0 on the year, going the distance while allowing six hits and one run and striking out nine.
The Bucs wasted little time in taking control of their third and final game of the day as they took on Navarro. FSW plated a run in the first on an RBI groundout from Pallas Potter and blew the game open in the second with a seven run frame to take an 8-0 lead. Laudino, Johnson, and Woods each had RBI singles in the inning while Potter was hit with the bases loaded to force home a run and a Bulldog error plated two more to push the Bucs ahead.
Navarro got a run back in the third and then two more with a two out, two run double in the fifth, but that was all that they would get as the Bucs finished them off 8-3 to wrap up a 3-0 day at the tournament.
FSW outhit Navarro 9-5, but committed an uncharacteristic three errors on the defensive end to help the Bulldogs cause. Laudino and Ellis had two hits each, while Potter and Woods drove in two runs apiece.
FSW improves to 28-0 at the midway point of the 2019 season and will be back in action at the tournament on Saturday at noon in bracket play against an opponent yet to be announced.