Pioneers Lose Doubleheader to LIU in NEC Opener
March 31, 2006
Brooklyn - Long Island University junior Randi Gillespie went a combined 4-for-6 with seven RBI to lift the Blackbirds to 9-0 and 9-2 victories over Sacred Heart in the Northeast Conference opener for both teams.
Pitchers Jenny Giles and Jessica Busick allowed just eight hits in the two games. Giles stretched her victory total to 11 games, allowing no runs and two hits over five innings. The freshman from Melbourne, Fla. struck out four on the afternoon en route to her first conference victory. Busick allowed two six hits and no earned runs in seven sound innings, striking out two.
LIU opened scoring in the first frame of game one. With one out, senior Krystal Mejia singled through the left side to become the game's first baserunner. Mejia crossed home three pitches later when rightfielder Gillespie launched her fourth home run of the season to deep left field.
The Blackbirds did most of their damage in the bottom of the third and fourth innings, plating seven runs. K. Mejia arrived on base on a fielder's choice and moved to second on a single from Gillespie. Junior Holly Erwin was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Sophomore Brittany Murphy took advantage of the situation, sending a 1-0 pitch over the left field fence for her first collegiate grand slam.
Gillespie drilled a seeing-eye single in the fourth to plate the team's last two scores and put the mercy rule into effect.
In game two, the Blackbirds got an early start scoring eight runs in the first two innings. Celina Castillo led off with a single up the middle and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Vanessa Mejia. Gillespie walked and the bases were cleared by the next batter, Alyssa Winslow. The sophomore smacked the 2-2 pitch over the right center field fence to push LIU to a 3-0 lead.
In the second, freshman Britnee Edwards led off with a homer down the left field line. Three batters later and with two runners aboard, Gillespie lifted her second homer in as many games to give the Blackbirds an 8-0 edge.
The Pioneers got some help from LIU in the fourth. With two outs and two aboard, Gillespie misplayed a shot into right field from Jazzeline Perez (Medford, NY) allowing freshman Sarah Stack (Fall River, MA) and sophomore Melissa Mezzanotte (North Haven, CT) to score the Pioneers only runs of the day.
LIU tacked on a run in the fifth on a double from V. Mejia. Mejia went 3-for-3 in the contest and Edwards was 2-for-3 with a pair of runs scored.
The Pioneers (6-20) are back on the field Saturday afternoon when they visit Iona. The doubleheader starts at 1:00 pm.