Down 6-0 against the No. 2 team in the nation who has lost only once all season, is a tall task for any team.
But the Eastern Florida State College softball team began chipping away at Chipola College's lead and tied the game in the top of the seventh inning. But Chipola would score in the bottom of the seventh inning to survive, 7-6 in the first round of the FCSAA State Softball Tournament at Boombah Solder's Creek Park in Longwood.
"We definitely played with a lot of heart, the second half of the game we were in it, had the bases loaded multiple times," Eastern Florida State softball coach Jim Beitia said. "From Day 1 we knew we had a good team and we played the No. 2 team in the nation as well as anybody has all year."
Down 6-0 after two innings, sophomore starting pitcher Jordan Lawlis would make sure the Titans had a chance to come back, retiring 13 of the next 16 hitters and finished with two strikeouts.
"What was most impressive was that we had to make some adjustments to the strike zone in the middle of the game and she did that well," Beitia said. "Outside of one inning, she dominated."
In the fourth inning, the Titans got on the board as Nikki Pennington reached on an error and sophomore Brooke Diaz followed with a double in the gap that scored Pennington. Lawlis woud later hit an RBI single to score Diaz and cut the lead to 6-2.
The Titans would score another run in the sixth inning as Gabby Orland hit a single and scored when Mary Waldron was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded. But the Titans would leave the bases loaded and trailed 6-3 heading to the seventh inning.
Hannah Crumblish led off the top of the seventh with an infield single, Pennington followed with a double and Diaz walked to load the bases. Orland would draw a walk to cut the lead to 6-4 and Hailey Profeta's single made it 6-5.
After an out, Carina McCarver was hit by a pitch to tie the game 6-6. But Chipola's Krystal Goodman came in and got the Indians out of the jam.
All seven of Chipola's runs came with two outs. The Titans will play St. Petersburg who lost to the College of Central Florida 8-0 in a must-win game at 1 p.m. Friday at Soldier's Creek Park in Longwood, FL. Admission is $10 for adults and $5 for students and children.