SELINSGROVE, Pa. – The Susquehanna softball team grabbed
two wins over Landmark Conference opponent Juniata thanks to two
pitching shutouts and 15 runs. The Crusaders remain perfect in
league play at 6-0 while also extending their win streak to
SU (22-5, 6-0) earned a 3-0 game-one shutout and used three home runs and 14 hits to grab a 12-0 victory in the nightcap. The team has not only won four straight, it has also won 15 of its last 16 contests.
Senior Cara Swerdlow (Bloomfield, N.J./Bloomfield) picked up her 10th victory of the season after tossing seven shutout innings, during which she scattered just two hits and struck out seven batters.
The Crusaders had just six hits themselves, with two from Lauren Gilbert (Mechanicsburg, Pa./Cumberland Valley), but were able to come up with the clutch hit.
Two of SU’s three runs came in the very first inning. With two outs, Susquehanna loaded the bases with two walks and a hit-by-pitch and Gilbert knocked the ball to right field to send home one run. Kim Rubino (Parsippany, N.J./Parsippany) followed with a single to the pitcher that allowed the second run to cross the plate.
Swerdlow worked out of a jam in the second with two runners on and no one out by getting two of the final three batters to strike out swinging.
SU tacked on an insurance run in the third on a Brittany Devlin (Furlong, Pa./Central Bucks East) RBI groundout.
Swerdlow retired the Eagles in order in the fifth inning, worked out of another jam in the sixth during which Juniata stranded two runners, and got three quick outs in the seventh to end the game.
Game two saw a similar pitching performance by the Crusaders, as Sarah Hoffman (Laceyville, Pa./Wyalusing Valley) tossed another shutout, but SU’s bats came alive with 14 hits, six of which went for extra bases, and 12 runs. Hoffman gave up just one hit and did not walk a single Eagle batter.
Four batters had at least two hits for Susquehanna, led by Brennan Balfour’s (Cape Elizabeth, Maine/Cape Elizabeth) 3-for-3 performance. Balfour also drove in two runs and scored three. Kathryn Gilbert (Mechanicsburg, Pa./Cumberland Valley) drove in a game-high three runs.
In the first, Balfour hit a two-out single up the middle and scored on Shelly Landis’s (Souderton, Pa./Christopher Dock Mennonite/Gannon) RBI double to left center.
The Crusaders plated two more runs in the first after Lisa Finizio (Oakland, N.J./Indian Hills) led off with a solo shot to right field. One batter later, Balfour hit a solo home run of her own as SU scored two runs on a very efficient two hits.
SU’s bats really put the game out of reach in the fourth, however, as the team scored nine runs on nine hits, including Kathryn Gilbert’s three-run homer to straightaway centerfield that made it a 12-0 ballgame.
Hoffman worked an easy 1-2-3 fifth to cap off the two-game sweep.
Next games: Friday, April 22 at Drew – 1 p.m.