March 30, 2008

Pioneers Earn Softball Split with Monmouth; SHU takes Game 2, 2-1

March 30, 2008

Box Score

FAIRFIELD, Conn. (March 30, 2008) - Sacred Heart freshman Taylor Froelich (Garden Grove, CA) singled home fellow freshman Courtney Lee (Camarillo, CA) with the go-ahead run in the bottom of the fifth to help deliver the Pioneers softball team a 2-1 win in Game 2 of a Northeast Conference double header with Monmouth earning a split at Pioneer Park. The Hawks took Game 1, 4-0 behind a nine-strike out, three-hit pitching effort by Kristine Sawlsville. Sacred Heart (9-14, 3-1 NEC) improve to 3-1 in the league after the first weekend of NEC play

Monmouth (5-14-1, 2-2 NEC) elected to intentionally walk Lee, the Pioneer's top-hitter (.375 avg), each time she came to the plate, seven times in all, but it wasn't until SHU's final time through the line-up that they were able to take advantage. With one out in the bottom of the fifth, the Hawks elected to put Lee on for the seventh time. Senior Melissa Mezzanotte (North Haven, CT) sacrificed her into scoring position, setting up #3 hitter Froelich. The rookie centerfielder laced a single to left center to score her fellow classmate and put the Pioneers in front for the first time on the day 2-1.

Freshman Jen Russell (Seymour, CT) gave up a run in the first as Jessica Nicola tripled to plate leadoff hitter Nicole Alvarez but then settled in scattering just four hits over the next six innings to garner the win. The Pioneers tied the game at 1-1 in the second inning as sophomore Adrian Fitzsimon (Sacramento, CA) doubled to the left center gap and came home two batters later as third baseman Jasmin Vicente (Wantagh, NY) singled to left.

Russell was forced to work out of trouble in the top of the sixth, protecting the 2-1 lead. The Hawks put the first two batters on as Lee Simonetti led off with a double to right center followed by an infield single to the third by Nicola, holding Simonetti at second. MU's Alexa Ferrara sacrificed the duo over to second and third but Russell got Kara O'Dell to pop out to the catcher and Abby Martin to ground out to first to end the threat. The rookie hurler worked a perfect 1-2-3 seventh to seal the win. Russell allowed six hits but walked just one while striking out five to earn the win.

In game one, the Hawks got on the board in the second inning as Nicola led off the inning with a home run to left. Monmouth tacked another on in the fifth off a Emily deLong sac fly and two more in the seventh with deLong picking up another RBI on a single to right. Sawlsville allowed just three hits over her seven innings but issued nine walks. The Pioneers failed to take advantage of the free passes, leaving 13 runners on base in the loss.

SHU's Meghan Spehar (Thousand Oaks, CA) pitched game one for the Pioneers, allowing all four runs on five hits while issuing five walks. Spehar struck out three in taking the loss.

The Pioneers will host a pair of non-conference opponents at Pioneer Park this week with the cross-town Fairfield Stags paying a visit on Tuesday, April 1st and the Hartford Hawks on Wednesday, April 2nd.

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