Late Inning Heroics Give Sacred Heart Split With Seton Hall
April 24, 2008
Fairfield, CT - Senior Melissa Mezzanotte (North Haven, CT) hit a game-tying two-run homerun in the bottom of the seventh and later scored the game wininng run on a wild pitch in the ninth inning to give Sacred Heart a 5-4 win over Seton Hall in game one of a softball doubleheader Thursday at Pioneer Park. The Pirates won game two by a score of 6-5.
The Pirates built a 4-0 lead early in game one. Freshman Brittany Schillizzi drove a two-run double to the gap in right center to put Seton up 2-0 in the second inning. In the third, Kealan Waldron balsted a two run homer to straight away centerfield to give the Pirates a four run lead.
The Pioneers started to chip away at the lead by scoring two runs in the bottom of the third. Mezzanotte started things off by ripping an RBI double that scored Jessica Perez (Santa Maria, CA). After Adrian Fitzsimon (Sacramento, CA) walked, freshman Shannon McCoy (Yorba Linda, CA) singled through the left side, scoring Mezzanotte. However, a base running mistake by Fitzsimon left her hung up between second and third, short circuiting the Pioneer rally.
The score remained 4-2 until the bottom of the seventh when Megan Spehar (Thousand Oaks, CA) hit a one out single. Mezzanotte followed by launching her third home run in as many games over the tennis court fence in left field to tie the game and send it to extra innings.
Both teams had runner on base in the extra innings but the pitcher's were able to work out of trouble. The biggest spot came in the top of the ninth when Jen Russell (Seymour, CT), in relief of Spehar, struck out Waldron with the bases loaded and two out.
Mezzanotte got the game winning rally started when she walked with one out in the bottom of the ninth. Fitzsimon put down a sacrifice bunt, which Seton Hall pitcher Katie Stillwell threw away, allowing Mezzanotte to go to third base. Two batters later, with Betsy Harvey (Unionville, CT) at the plate, Stillwell threw the first pitch in the dirt and it bounced past Pirates catcher Christa Leighton, allowing Mezzanotte to come home with the winning run.
Russell earned the victory after pitching the ninth inning, her 12th of the season. Spehar gave up four runs and six hits while striking out seven over the first eight innings.
Her first strikeout gave Spehar 400 for her career. The victory was the Pioneers, 20th of the season, setting a new Division I school record.
A seesaw second game saw the Pioneers jump out to a 2-0 lead in the first inning on the strength of an RBI single by McCoy and a sacrifice fly by Courtney Lee (Camarillo, CA).
Three straight run scoring hits in the top of the second gave Seton Hall a 3-2 lead. Leah Menichetti hit an RBI single, which was followed by a Waldron RBI double and a run-scoring single by Jenna Best. The Pioneers answered back in the bottom of inning with RBI singles by Fitzsimon and McCoy to take a 4-3 lead.
In the top of the fifth, Amanda Winn hit a run-scoring double to tie the game at four. With two outs, Ashley Constantini hit a ground ball to second base that should have ended the inning but Harvey bobbled it, allowing Stephanie Bontales to score the go ahead run. The Pioneers tied the game again in the bottom of the inning when Fitzsimon scored after Lee was caught in a rundown trying to steal second.
Waldron provided the difference in the game with two out in the sixth ininng when she launched her second home run of the game over the high fence in left field and on to the SHU tennis courts.
Kim Schweiter earned the win in relief in game two, allowing just three hits and two runs over the final six innings.
Sacred Heart is back in action Saturday when they host Robert Morris in NEC play. First pitch of the doubleheader is set for 1:00 pm.