Feb. 22, 2009
Columbia, SC- The Sacred Heart softball team fell in all four of its games at the 2009 Gamecock Invitational, hosted by South Carolina. In its first contest, the Pioneers gave up a three-run lead in the ninth inning and Troy rallied late to pull out a 6-5 win. SHU also fell to Eastern Illinois 2-1 in a tight eight inning contest and lost to James Madison 5-0 and Virginia 12-4.
Sacred Heart (0-4) climbed out of a 2-0 hole in the top of the fifth inning against Troy with a two-run homer from Pioneer catcher Shannon McCoy (Yorba Linda, CA). The game would remain scoreless as Jen Russell (Seymour, CT) and Trojan Ashlyn Williams, making a relief appearance, traded zeros until the ninth inning.
Betsy Harvey (Unionville, CT) cleared the bases with a three-run triple in the top of the ninth to put the Pioneers up 5-2. The Trojans used a fielder’s choice, a two-run double, and a Sacred Heart error to push four runners across the plate and steal a 6-5 victory. Russell pitched 8+ innings for the Pioneers, allowing only three earned runs and striking out seven in her first game of the year.
SHU was shutout by the Dukes of James Madison (7-3) 5-0 in their second game Friday afternoon. Freshman pitcher Liz Tsipouras (Simi Valley, CA) struck out four and allowed 10 hits and four earned runs in her collegiate debut. The Pioneers were only able to muster two hits against James Madison hurler Jenny Clohan, one each from McCoy and Jessica Perez (Santa Maria, CA).
The Pioneers were clipped in a 2-1 affair to Eastern Illinois (7-0) that saw no runs scored until the eighth inning. Russell dropped to 0-2 for the tournament despite her 140 pitch performance in which she allowed just one earned run through eight innings while striking out six. After the Panthers struck for two runs in the top half of the eighth, the Pioneers cut the lead in half on a Perez double and put the tying run in scoring position. Sacred Heart was unablet o capitalize as Courtney Lee (Camarillo, CA) struck out swinging and Amanda Bradley (Langely, BC) was caught looking to end the game.
Sacred Heart ended their trip to South Carolina with a 12-4 (6 Inn.) loss to the Virginia Cavaliers (9-5). Jasmin Vicente (Wantagh, NY) put the Pioneers on the board in the second inning with an RBI double. SHU put together a three-run rally in the fourth, highlighted by a Harvey double to score Jessica DiPiazza (Pompton Plains, NJ) and an RBI single from leadoff hitter Taylor Froelich (Garden Grove, CA). That brought the score to 7-4 but the Pioneers would be unable to get any closer as Virginia pulled away for a 12-4 triumph.
The Pioneers return to action Friday, February 27 as Sacred Heart begins competition at the Frost Classic, hosted by the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga. Sacred Heart will square off against Valparaiso, Tennessee Tech, Missouri State, Lipscomb, and Chattanooga in the three day tournament.