The University of South Carolina Beaufort softball team opened Sun Conference play with a doubleheader split against visiting Southeastern (Fla.) on Friday at Richard Gray Sports Complex in Hardeeville.
Alexandria Simmons and Taylor Triplett hit back-to-back home runs in support of Ashlie Layman as the 14th-ranked Sand Sharks claimed a 3-2 win in the opener, but the Fire used an eight-run sixth inning to win the 9-2 in the finale.
The Fire (18-9, 1-1 Sun) struck first in the opener, taking a 1-0 lead with an unearned run in the second. The Sand Sharks didn't manage a hit against Southeastern starter Lauren West until the fourth, when Shelby Zipperer broke up the no-hitter and Simmons and Triplett followed with consecutive blasts for a 3-1 lead.
Southeastern pulled within 3-2 in the sixth but left two on when Layman picked up a big strikeout and left another runner in scoring position in the seventh. Layman (9-0) continually worked out of trouble, stranding eight runners while limiting the Fire to two runs -- one earned -- on five hits.
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The second game was a pitchers' duel for most of the afternoon, as neither team scored until DeVyn Barker's RBI double in the fifth gave the Fire a 1-0 lead. Southeastern erupted for eight runs in the sixth, smacking nine hits and taking advantage of two errors.
The Sand Sharks got on the board in the bottom of the sixth when Simmons launched her second two-run homer of the day, but they couldn't get any closer.
USCB is back in action Monday, hosting Columbia College for a non-conference doubleheader at 4 p.m.