LEESBURG, Fla. – Emmanuel College dropped a pair of softball decisions Thursday afternoon in Day 4 action of the NTC Spring Games. The Saints opened the day with a 6-1 loss to Concordia University Chicago before falling in the night cap to SUNY Fredonia, 8-5. The Saints now stand at 3-5 on the year.
GAME 1 vs. Concordia
Emmanuel struck for the only time in the bottom of the first off of CUC starter Marita Van Dyke. A leadoff walk by freshman shortstop Kerry Sendrick (Medway, Mass.) worked around the bases with two outs. A lazy popup by sophomore designated player Ashley Skey (Brookline, N.H.) found the Bermuda triangle in the infield for a single scoring the runner from third.
CUC then answered with runs in the second and third innings. In the second Van Dyke led off with a single to center field and would worked her way to second with two outs. A misplay by the Saints allowed Van Dyke to run all the way around to tie the game at 1-1.
In the big third inning, back-to-back bunt singles by Megan Strong and Stefanie D'Anna got the momentum rolling. Allison Kruk singled through the left side scoring Strong easily for the go-ahead run. Melissa Balkema then laid down another bunt that was fielded and thrown away allowing D'Anna to score, putting runners on the corners still with no outs. Michele Alexander kept the scoring coming with a deep fly ball to center field off the base off the wall for a two RBI double. With two outs and Alexander on third, Taylor Kulaszewicz provided the final run of the game with a single to left field, making it 6-1 CUC.
From there both pitchers settled in for both teams not allowing another run over the next four. Van Dyke (4-0) picked up her fourth win of the trip, pitching her third complete game. She gave up just the one run, while scattering six hits and striking out eight. EC senior hurler Jill Kilcoyne (Worcester, Mass.) went the distance allowing six runs (five earned) on nine hits while striking out seven to fall to 1-2 on the year.
GAME 2 vs. SUNY Fredonia
Fredonia used a late rally to overtake Emmanuel and earn a split Thursday at The Spring Games.
SUNY jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the third inning before the Saints responded with three runs in the fifth to take a two-run lead. Sendrick belted an RBI double to left centerfield to even the score at 1-1 before freshman catcher Casey Sheehan (Medway, Mass.) put EC on top 2-1 with an RBI double to right center, scoring Sendrick. Skey added to the lead with a sac fly to account for the 3-1 cushion.
Down 3-1 at the start of the inning, the Blue Devils scored seven runs -- all after there were two outs -- en route an 8-5 win. They fell to Nebraska Wesleyan earlier in the day.
A lead-off double by Katelyn Dennis (Webster, N.Y.) preceded a two-out RBI single by Lauren Pixley (Hamburg, N.Y.). Consecutive walks loaded the bases before Khee Nance (Dunkirk, N.Y.) grounded to deep short. Madison Cooley (Geneva, N.Y.) beat the throw to second and the tying run scored. Nikki Lent (Yaphank, N.Y.) then laced a single to short left and when the ball eluded the left-fielder, three more runs scored. Cassie Herman (Maybrook, N.Y.) singled to score Lent and Dennis's second double in the inning scored Herman.
Katie Yudin (Liverpool, N.Y.) ran into control trouble in the top of the seventh, the only blip on an otherwise solid effort. After getting the first two outs, Emmanuel made things interesting with a late rally. Sendrick walked, Sheehan singles and Skey then walked to load the bases. Back to back bases loaded walks by senior first baseman Susie Kieselback (Wethersfield, Conn.) and sophomore Megan Kieselback (Wethersfield, Conn.) made it 8-5 with the tying run on base but freshman Sam Seegar (North Tonawanda, N.Y.) came on in relief to get the final out with a strikeout to earn her first collegiate save.
Yudin improved to 2-1 earning the win while sophomore Olivia Burgos (Newington, Conn.) took the loss going 5.2 innings allowing eight runs (five earned) on nine hits while striking out four.
The Saints return to action tomorrow for their final two games in the Florida swing taking on Lebanon Valley at 9:00 AM followed by a 1:00 PM contest vs. Misericordia.