Sunday, Mar. 4
SU Softball opened the season with a split on the first day of
action at the National Training Center in Clermont, Fla.
Susquehanna grabbed a 2-1 victory against Carroll University (Wis.)
behind the pitching effort of junior Sarah
Hoffman. Hoffman allowed only three hits and one run in
the first win of the season.
The Crusaders combined for six hits, half of them coming from junior Kathryn Gilbert, who went 3-for-3 on the day with a triple, two singles and a stolen base. Senior Lisa Finizio was 1-for-2 with a run scored and a RBI, scoring senior Courtney Miller, who was also 1-for-2 on the day.
Two freshmen helped with the hitting efforts. Brianna Murphy was 1-for-1 as a pinch hitter and Madison Clark scored the winning run with her pinch hit fielder’s choice.
SU then fell in the second game to Berry College (Ga.). The Crusaders were unable to get their bats going and only managed two hits in the nightcap. Junior Lauren Gilbert and freshman Alyssa Cantalini both went 1-2. Freshman hurler Morgan Lewis got the loss in her first collegiate game.
Monday, Mar. 5
SU managed another split in day two of its spring break trip.
Sophomore Ali Cullen suffered the 6-1 loss to John
Carroll University (Ohio) on the mound in her collegiate pitching
debut. Although SU and John Carroll both had six hits on the day,
the Crusaders left nine runners on base while John Carroll pushed
six runs across the plate.
Finizio led the offense for the Crusaders going 2-for-2 with two singles, a sac and a walk. Juniors Lauren Gilbert, Kathryn Gilbert and Larissa Luu all contributed a single as did senior Courtney Miller.
In Game two, Susquehanna beat Northwestern College (Minn.) 7-1
behind the pitching efforts of Hoffman. Hoffman
had a career-high 11 strikeouts and allowed only thre hits to keep
Northwestern at bay.
Kathryn Gilbert led the offense with two hits, three RBI and a triple. Sophomore catcher Brittany Devlin added a hit and an RBI as did freshman shortstop Kylie Schrey. Sophomore Sam LaCoe added two stolen bases and two runs scored while Lauren Gilbert, Finizio and Murphy all added a hit for the Crusaders in the win.
The Crusaders finished their Florida trip with two wins and an
offensive explosion with 28 hits. In game one versus Simmons
College (Mass.). the Crusaders banged out 17 hits. Four players had
three hits –Miller had three hits, three runs scored and a
Finizio added three hits and two runs scored and Devlin added three hits of her own. The biggest hits of the day came from some of the Crusaders newest members. Murphy had a big two-run triple in the second inning and added two more singles to finish thre3-for-4.
Freshman first baseman Bridgette Rafter added two a single, a double and a run scored. The most dramatic and important hit of the day came from Clark. Clark came in to pinch hit in the bottom of the fifth inning. Simmons had taken a 7-4 lead in the top of the fifth after the Crusaders led the game up to that point. Clark blasted a three-run homerun for her first collegiate hit. That was all the spark SU needed as the team went on to add five more hits and three more runs that inning and eventually held on to win the game 10-8.
Lewis pitched five innings and had seven strikeouts. Cullen came in to finish the game, adding five strike outs of her own to pick up her first collegiate win.
The Crusaders won the nightcap in dramatic fashion, beating Ohio
Northern 6-5 in the bottom of the seventh. Ohio Northern and SU
both recorded 11 hits in the game. Hoffman went 5.2 innings for SU
before Lewis came in to help finish the game.
With two outs and the tying run on second base, Ohio Northern ripped a single to center field sending the runner for home. Finizio threw a bullet to teammate Devin, who, despite a collision at home plate, held on to the throw to record the final out of the game and preserve the win for the Crusaders. Devlin also had two hits and four RBI while Miller, Finizio, and Murphy all added two hits for SU.
The Crusaders continue their spring break with a tournament in Salisbury, Md.. They will face Baruch College and No. 9 Salisbury University on Friday March 9th. Then they will conclude the trip with games Saturday against Frostburg State and No. 15 ranked Christopher Newport.