TUCSON – The Suffolk softball team opened up the 33rd season in dramatic fashion, escaping a bases loaded, two-out situation in the bottom of the ninth to secure a 3-2 victory over No. 24 Central Saturday morning in the Rams' first action at the Tucson Invitational.
SCORE: Suffolk 3, #24 Central 2
RECORDS: Suffolk (1-0) | Central (0-1)
HOW IT HAPPENED
Central was the first to strike and did so early. With two outs Emily Wilson doubled to right center to start a rally. Tabitha Taylor followed Wilson's double with one of her owning, sending a shot down the left line, to bring in the first run of the day. Ali Yamakaitis retired Abbie Voas looking to keep the damage at one run.
Both sides stayed quieted before the Rams heated up in the top of the fourth. At the top of the order Karina Miranda led off with a single to left field and Sydney Littlefield pushed the sophomore shortstop to second with a sac bunt. Devlin Frost's single to left center plated Miranda and Jill Pulek brought Frost in on a double to the same spot. Morgan Parmeter made it a 3-1 Suffolk game, sending single to right, to score Pulek.
In the home half of the inning Paige Dickel, who reached on a single through the left side, sniped second and third to stand in scoring position. The second baseman took advantage of an error by the Rams' third baseman McKenzie McGrath to cut the Dutch deficit to one.
After 3.5 scoreless innings Taylor Holmes relieved Suffolk's starter Yamakaitis in the pitching circle and Central took advantage of the fresh arm and loaded the bases. With one out, Taylor was given first on a fielder's choice with the Rams securing the out at home to hold on to the one-run lead. Holmes and catcher Delaney Sylvester teamed up to catch Sara Tallman stealing home to secure the 3-2 victory for Suffolk.
- Four different Rams were responsible for the blue-and-gold's four hits with Pulek knocking the lone extra-base shot of the day on a double.
- Frost, Miranda and Pulek each recorded one run apiece in the win with Frost, Parmeter and Pulek registering one RBI each.
- Yamakaitis earned the nod in the circle. The junior twirler tossed 6.0 innings, allowing eight hits, two runs, one earned, and sat down three Dutch hitters.
- In 1.0 innings of relief work, Holmes gave up one hit and earned the save in the circle.
- Karly Olson threw a complete-game for Central, giving up four hits, three runs, all earned, and struck out seven Ram batters.
- Suffolk wrapped up its first-ever victory over a ranked opponent in the Jaclyn Davis' era in the first-ever meeting with ranked competition under Davis.
- For the second straight season Suffolk captured its season opener. The win in game one marks the seventh time every in the program's 33-year history that the Rams marked a tally in the victory column in their first outing of the year.
- Under Davis, Suffolk is now 2-3 on opening day.
- Suffolk, who met Central for the first time in the program's history, remains undefeated versus the Dutch, to mark the 37th all-time opponent the Rams hold an unbeaten record against.
- Three of the four Rams who recorded a hit, Frost, Miranda, and Pulek, all kept their hit streaks alive, while Parmeter started one. Pulek ran her streak to eight straight games with Miranda and Frost knocking hits in the last four and two outings, respectively.
Suffolk closes out the first day of action in Tucson versus Augsburg at 1 p.m.