BY NWF DAILY NEWS
The seesawing continues.
Friday, the NWF State softball team split its doubleheader with Tallahassee in the state capitol, falling 5-4 in the first game only to rebound with a 9-4 victory just hours later. Only two days earlier, the Raiders split a doubleheader with Gulf Coast State in Niceville.
The Eagles (16-25 overall, 3-9 Panhandle Conference) got off to a quick start Friday in Game 1, chasing Raiders starter Brookelyn Sweeney out of the game after three hits, two homers and three earned runs with only 1/3 of an inning under her belt.
Freshman right-hander Lauren Rase came on to finish the job, escaping the jam to pitch the remaining 5 2/3 innings, but she too was tagged in the second, allowing two earned runs, and the damage was done. NWF State was in a 5-0 hole it would not crawl out of.
The Raiders (21-23, 5-9) scored two in the fifth and two more in the seventh before their rally came up short.
Although seven Raiders managed a hit, freshman shortstop Sydney Byrd, a Niceville alumna, was the only Raider to drive in any runs, mashing a two-run home run.
In Game 2, Byrd doubled down, hitting both a double and a home run while racking up a team-high three RBIs.
Tallahassee again struck first, scoring two runs in the first inning off sophomore Alexa Veamoi, who also exited after just 1/3 of an inning, but this time the Raiders rebounded. NWF State mashed 11 hits as a team, plating two runs in the fourth, two more in the sixth and five in the seventh.
In the circle, Amber Byrd took over for Veamoi and pitched the remaining 6 2/3 innings, allowing just three hits, three walks and two earned runs against six strikeouts.
The Raiders return to action at 4 p.m./6 p.m. Thursday for a doubleheader with Chipola. The Indians currently sit atop the Panhandle Conference with an unblemished 12-0 record.