Fairfield, CT – Nicole Sidor (West Vancouver, BC) launched a solo homer, her seventh long ball of the season, in the bottom of the ninth inning as SHU won a pair of Northeast Conference games Friday afternoon against Fairleigh Dickinson, 6-3 and 6-5. Sidor was also the winning pitcher in both contests, allowing just three earned runs in 11.2 innings of work. Kate Nadler (Southbury, CT) came up with clutch hit, a two-run single, in the bottom of the seventh inning that sent game two into extras.
Sacred Heart (14-20, 6-4, NEC) got on the board in the bottom of the first inning of game one as a FDU error in left field with two outs allowed the Pioneers to take a 1-0 advantage. The Knights broke through in the top of the fourth inning on RBI singles from Jordan Needle and Marie Roney. Sidor was able to limit the damage with back-to-back strikeouts to end the inning.
The Pioneers were finally able to solve FDU starter Megan Reiner in the sixth inning. Annie Dreher (Saugus, CA) recorded a one out single and immediately scored on a Liz Tsipouras (Simi Valley, CA) triple off the right field wall. Nadler and Carley Rudloff (Queen Creek, AZ) both drew walks to load the bases. Freshman Justine Sibthorp (Santa Clarita, CA) drove a single up the middle to plate two runs and make it 4-2, SHU. Nikki Surkes (Brightwaters, NY) kept the rally going with a two-run single that pushed the SHU lead to 6-2. FDU was able to scratch out a run in the seventh but it was too little, too late as SHU took game one of the double dip, 6-3.
Fairleigh Dickinson (20-9, 5-3 NEC) took advantage of two SHU errors in the top of the first inning to build an early 2-0 edge. Taylor Lane (Lisbon, CT) got the start in the circle for the Pioneers and would finish with a no-decision after 4.1 innings of work and surrendering one earned run. The Pioneers answered right back with a pair of runs in their half of the first on back-to-back RBI hits off the bats of Tsipouras and Nadler. Tsipouras finished the double header with four hits in six trips to the plate, including three extra-base hits.
The two sides traded runs in the second inning with Jade Bowins (Frederick, MD) coming up with a RBI single to knot the score at 3-3. The Knights threatened with the bases loaded and one out in the fifth inning but Sidor came out of the bullpen to end the rally and keep the game deadlocked. However, the Pioneer defense committed two more errors in the sixth inning as the visitors capitalized to grab a 5-3 cushion.
Sacred Heart went in order in the sixth inning before Sidor leadoff the bottom of the seventh with a walk. Dreher laced a one-out single through the left side of the infield to put runners at the corners. The Knights decided to intentionally walk Tsipouras to load the bases for Nadler. The freshman third baseman made FDU pay and went back up the middle for a single that scored two and tied the game at 5-5. Sacred Heart was unable to end the game in the inning as Rudloff hit a line shot that was snagged by the shortstop who was able to fire across the diamond for the double play.
Sidor worked two clean innings in the eighth and ninth and started the Pioneers half of the ninth as the leadoff hitter. She drove an offering from Reiner over the left center field wall and started the celebration as the Pioneers claimed the 6-5 victory. The win came in Sacred Heart's first extra inning affair of 2012.
The SHU softball team returns to action on Tuesday for a non-conference double header at Iona.