By James Vallone
PENSACOLA, Fla. – The Lady Hawks softball team picked up wins 20 and 21 while remaining unbeaten on the road as they defeated Gulf South Conference foe West Florida in a pair of road games, 6-4 and 11-0.
Morris got the scoring started in a scoreless game in the third inning with a solo home run to right center field, Amanda Dailey added and RBI double later that inning driving in Bre Johnson after Johnson walked and moved into scoring position when Sarah Corn was hit by a Taylor Bailey pitch.
Morris added her second solo blast in the top of the fifth to center field to give Shorter the 3-1 lead.
West Florida got on the scoreboard in their portion of the fifth and tied it in the sixth when Elizabeth Nugent connected on a two-run home run down the left field line.
A scoreless seventh sent the game to extra innings, with each team scoring once in the tenth inning.
With Corn starting the inning at second base, Dailey moved the runner over with a sacrifice bunt. After a pop out recorded the second out of the inning, Echols needed just a simple hit to move the Lady Hawks ahead. Echols decided to provide the go-ahead run and an extra run with the two-run shot to left center.
Shorter stopped the Argos in the bottom of the inning to pick up the victory.
Game two was not as close as the Lady Hawks won 11-0 in five innings, with a run rule being enforced to call the game early.
Shorter (21-3, 9-1 GSC) scored six runs in the top of the third inning, with Kayla Cooper staring the scoring with a two out home run to right center field. After Morris and Jackie Castaneda scored, Echols launched a three-run home run in the first batter that Argo pitcher Lauren Register faced, scoring Dailey and Johnson.
Four more runs scored in the fourth, as Castaneda drove in Cooper, and later Jessica Bowman, Castaneda, and Morris scored on an error by the Argo short stop.
The fifth inning had Morris single in Cooper from second base to end the scoring.
For the series against West Florida (11-15, 4-9 GSC) Morris scored four runs with four hits and three RBI, while Cooper scored four runs on three hits. Castaneda added three hits in game two, while Echols tallied five RBI.
Christina Ezell started game one and lasted seven innings – striking out five batters and yielding only eight hits – before Kala Byrom pitched the final three innings to pick up the win.
Maddie Bray pitched all five innings for the win in game two, giving up just four hits and getting a pair of strike outs.
The Lady Hawks will be at Valdosta State (22-5, 9-3 GSC) for a doubleheader of 2012 National Champions – Shorter from NAIA and VSU from Division II. The Lady Blazers current are ranked No. 2 in this week's NFCA Division II Top 25 softball poll after moving down a spot due to a pair of losses this past week.