The Lee softball team's bid for a second straight come from behind victory over West Florida fell just short on Sunday afternoon as the Lady Flames fell to the Argonauts 6-5 in the series finale from Butler Field.
Lee falls to 15-19 on the season and 7-11 in Gulf South Conference play. West Florida improves to 23-16 overall, and is 12-8 in conference games.
The Lady Flames will look to bounce back when they welcome Young Harris (Ga.) College to Butler Field for a nonconference doubleheader on Wednesday beginning at 3 p.m. The two clubs split a doubleheader last week in Georgia.
Lee would come up just short in game three on Sunday as West Florida hung on for a 6-5 victory after holding a commanding five-run lead early in the contest.
The Argonauts wasted little time getting into the swing of things in the rubber match. UWF struck for three runs in the first inning as Lou Barnard ripped a two-run homer to right after Danielle Sanders scored on a throwing error to jump-start the offensive attack.
Lee would get one back in the bottom of the first before the visitors tallied two more in the second on a Sanders' two-run single. West Florida opened up a five-run advantage in the third with a run courtesy of a Lady Flames' throwing error. Wilkinson added a double and a single for the Argonauts while Elizabeth Nugent was a perfect 2-for-2 with two doubles and a run scored.
Annabeth Pruett (4-2) started in the circle for the home team but ran into trouble from the start against the Argonauts. Pruett pitched just 1 2/3 innings and was charged with the loss after allowing five runs on six hits.
Angie Hughes came on in relief and allowed Lee to climb back into the contest by allowing just one unearned run in 5 1/3 innings of work. Hughes did allow five walks but worked around trouble with four punchouts.
Dominique Hannah helped jump-start the offense for Lee with a solo homer to right center in the fourth inning. The junior now has three homers on the year. The Lady Flames tacked on two more in the fifth inning, thanks to a Hannah walk and hit-by-pitch of Amber Broome with the bases loaded.
Lee would score the final run of the game on a single by Ana Coscorrosa. The senior finished 2-for-3 in the contest and is now hitting .479 with 50 RBIs on the year.
The Lady Flames got plenty of production from the top of the lineup. Amanda Lynn and Lexie Dean joined Coscorrosa with two singles each.
Taylor Bailey (14-6) went the distance to grab her second win of the weekend for West Florida. Bailey allowed five runs (four earned) on nine hits over seven innings of work. She walked four but registered 11 strikeouts, including a strikeout to end the game with the tying run on base.
The Lady Flames fell in Saturday's opener by a 6-4 margin. The big blow came on a three-run homer from Lou Barnard to break a 3-3 tie in the top of the seventh inning.
The Lady Flames struck first on a sacrifice fly from Meg Macias in the first inning. The senior would add another sac fly in the fifth inning to tie things up at 3-3. Ana Coscorrosa continued to swing a red-hot stick. The senior first baseman drew an RBI walk in the fifth inning and roped a solo homer to right in the seventh. The Argonauts stayed away from the slugger, walking her three times in the contest, twice intentionally.
Bailey (13-6) started and went the distance for the Argonauts. The senior gave up four runs on eight hits for the victory. She walked three and struck out eight. Lee starter Hughes worked 6 1/3 innings and was tagged with the loss. The sophomore gave up six runs (five earned) on five hits. She struck out eight but walked seven.
Both teams left seven runners on base in the contest. West Florida tallied just five hits but showed patience at the plate in drawing seven free passes. Barnard and Jenna Belser both hit home runs and drove in three to pace the offensive attack for the visitors.
In one of the more improbable victories you'll ever see, the Lady Flames refused to quit, rallying from three runs down in the seventh inning to tie things up before winning game two with three runs in the eighth inning.
Freshman Amber Broome's infield single scored Lexie Dean to seal the 8-7 comeback. Broome finished with a pair of hits. "I am very happy for Amber (Broome) who got the game-winning hit. She executed in a pressure situation,” said head coach Emily Russell.
Dean went 3-for-5 with four RBIs. The sophomore pulled the Lady Flames within one in the seventh inning on a two-run triple. Dean would tie things back up in the eighth inning on a two-run single. Meg Macias doubled and added two singles to go along with two RBIs.
"I'm very proud of the girls for playing like I know they can. We have had our share of adversity this year and tonight we played like a team." remarked Russell. "Lexie (Dean) had a fantastic night and I'm so proud of her. As a coach you can never question her determination and her ability to be coachable. She is a remarkable young lady.
The Argonauts appeared to be cruising toward the doubleheader sweep behind the arm of Lauren Register. After surrendering two runs in the first inning the West Florida starter worked five scoreless innings before Lee's rally in the seventh. Register briefly exited the game after the first two runners had reached in the seventh inning. Rebecca Hein worked 1/3 of an inning, giving up a run, a hit and a walk before Register returned to record the final two outs.
Register (3-1) was tagged with the loss after giving up the lead again in the eighth. She worked 7 1/3 innings, giving up seven hits an seven runs (five earned). Register struck out seven and walked three. Game One starter Taylor Bailey came on in the eighth and gave up a walk before surrendering the game winner on an infield hit.
Hailey Clark started and worked two innings for Lee. Clark gave up four hits and five runs (three earned). Game one starter Angie Hughes (9-10) came on to work the final six innings of relief for her ninth victory of the season. Hughes gave up two runs on six hits while striking out seven.
"Angie (Hughes) came back in game two and only had two walks in six innings, which was huge for us," noted Russell. "Qiley Lewis has really been coming around and was on base a lot tonight. I thought Meghan turned the corner at the plate tonight and started swinging like we know she can."
West Florida was led by Lou Barnard. The Argos third baseman singled, doubled and drove in four. Hannah Dowling added three hits and scored twice. Elizabeth Nugent added a pair of hits to round out the 10-hit attack for the visitors.
"I hope we can carry this over to tomorrow and the rest of the season" concluded Russell.