SMSU SOFTBALL: Strong pitching carries Tampa past Mustangs

TAMPA, Fla. – The University of Tampa used a pair of strong pitching performances to sweep past Southwest Minnesota State in college softball on Tuesday afternoon by scores of 6-0 and 3-1 at Naimoli Family Field.

SMSU drops to 4-7 overall and 1-4 on its nine-game road trip in Florida, while Tampa-picked to finish second in the Sunshine State Conference preseason poll-improves to 12-9 overall.

In game one, Spartans pitcher Makaleigh Dooley fired a three-hit shutout with 10 strikeouts while walking just one batter.

Emma Grote, Madison Krog and Mackenzie Clouse each had singles for the Mustangs.

Tampa held a 1-0 lead heading into the bottom of the fifth before pushing across three runs in the fifth and two more in the sixth.

SMSU starter Shelby Crank (3-3) tossed a complete game allowing six runs on 10 hits with two walks and one strikeout.

In game two, Tampa starter Sam Kaye picked up the victory pitching the first five innings, allowing one run on seven hits. Dooley came on in relief in the sixth inning with SMSU threatening with two runners on base and no outs. Dooley worked out of the jam with a fly out, a pop out and a ground out to keep UT with a 3-1 lead. She then retired SMSU in order in the seventh to seal the win.

Kaylee Hentges and Madysson Schliinz each finished 2 for 3 to pace the SMSU offense. Trailing 2-0 in the fourth, Kali Tomlinson singled with one out and moved to third following singles by Hentges and Schliinz. With two outs, Kaye uncorked a wild pitch to score Tomlinson and cut the deficit to 2-1.

SMSU starting pitcher Megan Cull (0-2) fired a strong six innings giving up three runs (two earned) with three strikeouts and one walk.

Southwest Minnesota State will look to snap its three-game losing streak today with a doubleheader at Warner University in Lake Wales, starting at 1 p.m. CST.

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