College Sports

State College of Florida earns 3-0 victory in Game 1, loses nightcap of national softball finals

State College of Florida played its opening round softball game at the Junior College World Series like it has done for most of the 2012 season.

The Manatees used timely hitting and strong pitching in a 3-0 victory over Temple (Texas) College in St. George, Utah, on Thursday.

Paige Mathews escaped two early inning jams, before SCF's bats awoke to provide the freshman flamethrower all the support she would need.

Mathews finished with nine strikeouts against four walks and five hits in the shutout.

"She did have a couple walks that were uncharacteristic of her, but other than that, she wasn't shaky," head coach Meredith Headings said. "It was more, I think, as a team we were a little nervous for the first inning, then we settled down."

Temple College wasted opportunities to score the opening runs in the first and third innings, stranding a combined five runners in those two frames.

Meanwhile, SCF (49-11) bided its time at the plate against the Leopards' Emily Leib.

The Manatees broke through for two runs in the bottom of the third inning.

Laura Taricano drilled a one-out double and scored after Kat Gavern singled.

Gavern plated the Manatees' second run on Gianni Artidiello's sacrifice fly.

Angie Dascoli capped SCF's scoring with a solo home run to lead off the bottom of the fourth inning.

"She was locked in even with her first at-bat, so to see her finally go yard and feel like going back to the Angie I'm used to being, it was really good to see," Headings said.

Dascoli didn't just perform in at the plate. She also delivered the game-ending play from the field.

From her catcher's position, Dascoli picked off Temple's Kelsie Lee at first base to preserve the 3-0 victory for SCF.

Lee was the most successful Temple player against Mathews, who was a co-MVP of the Florida state tournament. She produced a 4-for-4 day at the plate, before getting picked off first base.

Mathews, though, worked through the rest of the Leopards' lineup with relative ease.

Temple's bats, aside from Lee, went a combined 1-for-21 against SCF's powerful right-hander.

For the Manatees offense, every player produced in some fashion. Eight of the nine players in the starting lineup reached base safely at least once, with Artidiello chipping in an RBI on the sacrifice fly despite an 0-for-3 day at the dish.

Joining Taricano and Dascoli with extra-base hits was Ashley Burney, who smacked a double for her lone hit.

In late Thursday's game, SCF dropped a heartbreaker against Pima (Ariz.) Community College.

The Manatees fell 3-2 in eight innings after holding a 2-1 lead entering the bottom of the seventh inning.

SCF had the Aztecs down to their final out, but an error by right fielder Kayla Schappacher allowed the game-tying run to score.

The relay throw gunned down a potential game-winning run on the play, however.

The Aztecs, though, won in the bottom of the eighth on a walk-off base hit by Aubre Carpenter.