PREVIEW: CF Softball final two MFC series

PREVIEW: CF Softball final two MFC series

(Photo courtesy of Thomas Gaines, Behind the Scenez Media)

Ocala, FL-- The College of Central Florida softball team enters the final week of its Mid-Florida Conference schedule with a chance for its first-ever conference title.

The Patriots (33-12, 14-6) trail Santa Fe College by one game and has doubleheaders against St. Johns River State and FSC-Jacksonville left on their slate. SFC, which won the season series 3-1 with the Patriots, has doubleheaders against Lake-Sumter and a tough Daytona State squad to close out its regular season.

CF will start off the week with St. Johns River on the road.

The Patriots have won eight straight against the Vikings and 10 of their last 11. Over the past two seasons, CF has outscored SJRSC 61-17 over the span of six games. Leading the way for CF has been Florida State commit Amy Szymanowski, who is 9 for 19 with six homers, 18 RBI and nine runs scored in six games against the Vikings.

Back in March, CF rolled to 8-0 and 14-5 wins at home versus St. Johns and had six home runs over the course of the doubleheader, including five in the 14-run triumph. In all, CF went 27 for 63 in the March doubleheader.

Szymanowski is 3 for 8 with four runs scored, three home runs and seven RBI this season against SJRSC. Cheyenne Blaha, Taylor Morrow Jessica Nathan also homered this season against the Vikings. Jordan Lane (5 for 8, three runs scored, RBI), Morrow (3 for 7, three runs scored, five RBI), Nathan (2 for 4, run scored, four RBI) and Lizzy Burchfield (5 for 7, two runs scored, RBI) have been tough outs for the Vikings this season as well.

From there, the Patriots will host their last conference doubleheader of the season against FSC-Jacksonville on Thursday afternoon at 2:30 p.m. CF is 17-3 at home this season and outscored the Blue Wave 18-0 in a pair of shutout wins.

The duo of Taylor Bowen and Jamie Nelson has been tough on Patriot foes in the circle. Nelson snapped a 12-game losing streak for CF against Santa Fe last Thursday with a strong five-inning effort.

Bowen, who is nearing the 40-win mark for her career, hasn't allowed an earned run at home during 26 innings of conference play. She had a 23 2/3 inning scoreless streak at home during MFC play.

Lane (5 for 7, three runs scored, three RBI, home run, double), Szymanowski (2 for 3, five runs scored, two RBI, home run, double), Morrow (3 for 6, four RBI, double), Nathan (4 for 5, two runs scored, four RBI, double) and Caylee Underwood (3 for 7, two runs scored, five RBI, home run) have led the way at the plate versus FSC-J this year.

No matter the outcomes, the Lady Patriots have already clinched a spot in the FCSAA Atlantic District Tournament May 2-3 at Pensacola's Exchange Park.