It wasn’t easy, but the Santa Fe Saints pulled out two wins on Thursday afternoon against Mid-Florida Conference rivals St. John’s River State College, taking game one 4-3 and game two 6-5 in extra innings.
Santa Fe (23-18, 10-3 MFC) jumped out to a 4-0 lead in game one thanks to some clutch two out hitting. Erika Garcia drove in the first run with a single in the third, plating Ashley Holton, and Brittney Mayhill and Shannen Marchu roped back to back doubles to score three in the fifth. All four runs came with two out.
SJRSC got back in the game with two homeruns in the fifth off SF started Shannen Marchu, but relief pitcher Cierra Miller stopped the rally short and pitched the remainder of the game to seal up the win. Marchu was the pitcher of record, collecting the win.
The Saints piled up 10 hits, including two hit performances from Erika Garcia, Alaysia Miller and Bianca Torres.
Santa Fe built a 3-0 lead in game two thanks to an Ashley Holton RBI double and a two run homerun by Erika Garcia in the third inning. The Vikings answered in the fourth with two and SF got one run back in the bottom of the fourth on a two out single by Brittney Mayhill to make it 4-2.
SJRSC continued their display of power in the fifth when Heather Muccino blasted a solo homerun to left field.
Trailing by one heading in to the top of the seventh, the Vikings answered the bell, putting two runs on the board to take their first lead of the afternoon, 5-4.
The Saints refused to go down without a fight and Holton again came through for SF with a one out RBI single to send the game to extra innings.
Cierra Miller pitched a perfect top of the eighth and left the game in the hands of the Santa Fe offense.
The first three SF batters reached base, loading the bases in the bottom of the eighth. Viking pitcher Amanda Smith bore down and got two straight outs, setting up a two out, bases loaded situation with Ashley Holton. Holton worked the count full and took the payoff pitch inside, walking in the winning run.
Holton finished game two 3-for-4 with three RBI, Layne McDermond was 2-for-4 and Brittney Mayhill finished 2-for-4 with an RBI.
The MFC first place Saints continue on Saturday at home against Seminole State College. Before the double header, the two teams will conclude a game from March 8 that was suspended due to darkness. The Saints lead 7-5 heading into the top of the seventh with SF at bat. Following the completion of that game, the Raiders and Saints will begin a double header at 1 p.m.