Blackbirds Sweep Pioneers In NEC Opener
March 27, 2010
Brooklyn, NY - The Sacred Heart softball team dropped both games of a double header this afternoon to Long Island to open Northeast Conference play. Blaire Porter picked up both pitching wins for the Blackbirds as they avenge the loss to the Pioneers in last season’s NEC championship game. Courtney Lee (Camarillo, CA) and Adrian Fitzsimon (Sacramento, CA) each slammed homers in the game two loss.
Long Island (14-12, 2-0 NEC) took a 1-0 lead in the opening game of the double header in the bottom of the first as Sterling Hoham singled through the left side to score Brynn Lewis with two outs. The Blackbirds put up a four run inning in the bottom of the third to stretch their advantage to 5-0. Bianca Mejia started the frame with a solo homer to make it 2-0. Lewis had an RBI single and Amanda MacIntoish laced a two-run ground rule double with two outs to round out the big inning for the Blackbirds.
Sacred Heart (9-11, 0-2 NEC) had its best chance to score in the top of the sixth inning with a two out rally. Lee put a double into right center field while Liz Tsipouras (Simi Valley, CA) and Fitzsimon followed that with back-to-back walks to load the bases. Amanda Bradley (Langley, BC) shot a ball back through the box but LIU pitcher Blaire Porter grabbed it and flipped to first to keep SHU off the scoreboard. The Blackbirds pushed three runs across in the bottom half of the frame, capped by a Hoham single, to go up 8-0 and end up the game via run rule.
The Pioneers rebounded quickly in game two of the double header building a 2-0 advantage in the top of the first. Lee smashed a two run homer to give SHU its first lead of the afternoon after Marissa Montemagni (Chicopee, MA) reached on an error. Long Island would cut into the Pioneer lead immediately as Mejia led off their first inning with her second homerun of the day to make it 2-1. Sacred Heart would tack on a run in the third, again starting a rally with two outs. Tsipouras drew a walk and was followed by a Fitzsimon double to put a pair of runners in scoring position. After a pitching change Sarah Reynolds threw a wild pitch to allow Tsipouras to scamper home and push the SHU advantage to 3-1.
Alyssa Garza (Santa Clarita, CA) started the Pioneer fourth reaching on an error and would later cross the plate on another LIU wild pitch. Porter, the Blackbirds game one starter, would return to the hill and pitch the final three and two thirds innings for Long Island.
Sacred Heart allowed the Blackbirds to get back into the game in the bottom of the fourth as LIU pushed across three unearned runs to tie the game at 4-4. After Porter set down SHU in order in the top half of the inning the Blackbirds took the lead for the first time in game two in the bottom of the fifth. Lewis and Hoham both hit doubles that gave their team a 5-4 edge and chased game two starter Tsipouras from the mound. Freshman Nicole Sidor (North Vancouver, BC) would surrender a walk and a RBI single to the first batters she faced. After a second Pioneer error later in the inning Long Island held a 7-4 lead at the end of five frames.
Fitzsimon homered in the seventh to cut the Pioneer deficit to 7-5 but SHU would not be able to avoid being swept by the Blackbirds. Porter picked up both wins on the mound for Long Island, allowing just one run in 9.2 innings.
The Pioneer softball team returns to action Monday in their home opener at Pioneer Park, taking on Saint Peter’s, first pitch is set for 3:00 pm.