Freshman pitcher, big bats lead SCF softball team to doubleheader sweep

Morrison blanks foe; Manatees findgroove at the plate

jdil@bradenton.comFebruary 26, 2014 

BAYSHORE GARDENS -- The State College of Florida softball team has been without pitcher Taylor O'Quinn for the past 10 days as discomfort in her shoulder has caused the Manatees to take precautionary measures and rest their ace.

Consequently, SCF managed just one win in its previous six games prior to Tuesday's doubleheader with Lake Sumter State College.

But then Devon Morrison took over.

The freshman right-hander turned in a complete-game victory and a clutch relief appearance to lead SCF to a sweep, an 8-0 win in five innings and a 7-2 triumph in the second game.

The host Manatees (11-7) erupted with some late offense in both contests, but it was Morrison's baffling stuff that kept Lake Sumter off the scoreboard.

Morrison tossed a total of 7 1/3 scoreless innings, striking out six and allowing just two hits.

"I don't really think about the score when I pitch," Morrison said. "I just let the defense do their job and then the offense does their job. I'm not really worried about if we're going to hit, because we're a pretty solid hitting team."

The first game stood 1-0 before SCF plated seven runs in the bottom of the fifth inning to earn the mercy-rule victory.

In the second game, the Manatees fell behind 2-0 after Lake Sumter's Kayla Fuller launched two solo home runs.

But SCF rallied for three runs in the fourth inning to take a one-run lead.

Then Morrison was called upon to relieve starter Erika Shick in the top of the fifth inning to face Fuller.

"Those two home runs, one was inside and one was outside pitches," SCF head coach Meredith Headings said. "So she was able to get enough bat on whatever we threw, so it was the right call to bring Devon in. Devon tends to throw down, and Devon has been phenomenal for a freshman to step in like that."

Morrison's low stuff induced Fuller a ground ball that allowed second baseman Dani Darby to make a forceout at second and end the inning.

SCF responded with four runs in its half of the fifth to finish off the Lakehawks.

A key in both games was the offensive output from Darby, who adopted a different approach in Tuesday's twin bill.

The second baseman calmed herself down prior to Tuesday's affair, and the move worked as she delivered a 5-for-6 performance in the doubleheader. Darby also scored two runs and drove in two more.

"It was simple; just see the ball, hit the ball," Darby said. "Normally, I'm up there thinking, 'Look for in, look for out.' ... But I was just see the ball, hit the ball and run to first."

In addition to Darby's performance, SCF was led by the following hitters: Lakewood Ranch's Amber Wimmer (3-for-7, double, two RBIs, two runs), Crystal Cyr (3-for-6, double, two RBIs, run) and Reagan Oakes (3-for-6, two RBIs, two runs, stolen base).

Lakewood Ranch product Jenn Trotter also chipped in with a three-run, pinch-hit double to cap SCF's scoring in the second game.

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