March 27, 2011

Sacred Heart Splits Sunday Double Dip with Siena

Fairfield, CT - The SHU softball team traded a pair of 3-2 decisions with the Siena Saints Sunday afternoon in a non-conference double header at Pioneer Park.  Jade Bowins (Frederick, MD) ripped a triple into left-center field and scored the winning run of game two in the bottom of the fifth inning.  Bowins crossed the plate as Siena committed a throwing error trying to cut down the speedy left at third base.  Jen Russell (Seymour, CT) posted 12 strikeouts but a Pioneer error in the seventh frame of game one led to an unearned run and extra innings.  Nicole Sidor (West Vancouver, BC) earned her second pitching victory of the weekend, tossing 4.1 innings of scoreless relief.

Sacred Heart (12-10) used the long ball to get on the board first in the opening game of the day.  Bowins successfully laid down a sacrifice bunt with one out to move a runner into scoring position for Taylor Froelich (Garden Grove, CA).  Froelich saw three straight pitches out of the strike zone to start the at-bat and got the green light on 3-0 from co-head coaches Elizabeth Luckie and Pam London.  The senior center-fielder got the pitch she wanted and hit a towering homer over the left field wall to make it 2-0, SHU.  The blast was Froelich's fourth round tripper of 2011.

Siena (9-12) immediately cut into the Pioneer lead in the top of the fourth as Shannon Jones started the inning with a double and scored on a Jessicka-Jo Sandrini single.  Russell stopped the threat and struck out the side with a runner still in scoring position to maintain the Pioneer advantage at 2-1.  But the Saints would even the game in their last chance at the plate.  Alyssa Sceppaguerci started the inning with a single up the middle and was sacrificed over to second.  Mandy Ferro slapped a ball that got under shortstop Alyssa Garza's (Santa Clarita, CA) glove and knotted the game at 2-2.  The Saints manufactured the go-ahead run in the eighth and Sandrini retired the side in order in the bottom half of the inning to pick up the victory for Siena.

Taylor Lane (Lisbon, CT) made her first collegiate start in game two, recording two strikeouts and surrendering two runs in 2.2 innings of work.  This time it would be the Saints who took the early lead as Jones notched a RBI double in the top of the third.  Jones eventually scampered home on a Sidor wild pitch to give the visitors a 2-0 advantage.

The Pioneers responded in the bottom of the third as Bowins and Courtney Lee (Camarillo, CA) both reached base with two outs.  Liz Tsipouras (Simi Valley, CA) then hammered a single into center to score Bowins and notch her Northeast Conference leading 21st RBI of the season.  Freshman Annie Dreher (Saugus, CA) took the first pitch she saw into right center field to drive-in Lee and even the score at 2-2.  However, the Pioneer inning would end with Carley Rudloff (Queen Creek, AZ) at the plate as Dreher got hung up between first and second trying to get caught in a run down. 

Sacred Heart went up 3-2 on Bowins' triple as the slap hitter drove a ball to the fence and used her speed to produce a run.  The Saints started the top of the seventh with a hit down the left field line that Bowins was able to cutoff and keep to just a single.  Siena got the tying run to third with two outs but Sidor induced a harmless fly ball to center that Froelich put away for the final out of the afternoon.

Sidor allowed just three hits and struck out five batters en route to her fourth straight win.  The sophomore hurler finishes the weekend with a 2-0 record to go along with 21 K's and a 0.62 ERA.

The Pioneers are scheduled to be back in action on the road this Wednesday for a non-conference double-header with Stony Brook.