Yakel powers Saints to Doubleheader Split

photo of Emily Yakel and Saints softball team

Emily Yakel hit two homeruns in game two and Dontaysha Gobourne hit a grand slam to seal the win as the Santa Fe Saints won the nightcap 10-5 after dropping the opener 6-5 to South Florida State College in Avon Park Saturday afternoon.

Yakel, a sophomore out of Buchholz High School, had three homeruns on the day but it was her two-run shot in the sixth inning of game two that put the Saints in front 6-5. Kaitlyn Bennet started the inning off with a single to set up Yakel's homerun one out later. Adriana Garip, Gabi Mathre and Karina Ortiz-Munoz followed with singles to load the bases for Gobourne who responded with her first round tripper of the season to put the Saints up by the winning margin of 10-5.

Mathre was the Saints starter in the circle and Tihana Zupanic pitched two innings of middle relief, but it was Gobourne (1-2) who earned the win with four innings of hitless relief with five strikeouts.

"Emily was unstoppable today at the plate," said SF head coach Lindsay Fico. "She is turning into our offensive leader. I'm proud that all her hard work is paying off."

Fico also had praise for Gobourne. "I'm proud of the way Donnie reacted today," said Fico. "She could have let her early struggles at the plate affect her pitching, but she didn't. Then she muscled out a big grand slam to give us the push we needed to close out the win."

Game one was a back and forth affair until the sixth inning when the Panthers (12-5) scored an unearned run to get the 6-5 win.

"Mathre pitched well enough to win in the opener, but her zone got squeezed a bit in the third inning," said Fico. "Offensively, we left too may runners on base."

As a team, the Saints had 25 hits in the two games. Bennett, Garip and Yakel each had four hits on the day while Jolie Watson had three.

Next up for the Saints (5-10) is a doubleheader Tuesday in Tallahassee against TCC with the first game scheduled to start at 4 p.m.

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