March 16, 2009

Sacred Heart Picks Up Three Wins at Rebel Games

March 16, 2009

Box Score vs. Butler
Box Score vs. Eastern Kentucky
Box Score vs. Valparaiso
Box Score vs. Bucknell

Box Score vs. Maine
Box Score vs. South Dakota
Box Score vs. Buffalo
Box Score vs. SIU-Edwardsville

Box Score vs. Rhode Island
Box Score vs. Columbia

The Pioneer Softball team traveled to Osceola, FL to compete in the Rebel Games last week and earned victories against Butler, Bucknell, and Rhode Island. Jen Russell (Seymour, CT) pitched well for Sacred Heart, picking up two wins and a save while posting a 1.51 ERA. The Pioneers week was not without heartbreak as they also dropped four one-run contests.

Sacred Heart (3-12) went 3-7 at this years Rebel Spring Games held March 8-14. The Pioneers started their week positively using three homeruns in a 5-3 win over Butler. Taylor Froelich (Garden Grove, CA) homered in her first at bat of the week in the top of the first to stake SHU to a 1-0 lead. Jessica Perez (Santa Maria, CA) tacked on a solo blast of her own to lead off the third inning. Senior Betsy Harvey (Unionville, CT) extended the Pioneers lead to 4-0 with a two-run dinger. A sixth inning Butler rally closed the gap to 4-3 but SHU got an insurance run in the top half of the seventh and Russell closed the door in the bottom half to earn the victory.

The Pioneers then suffered back to back losses at the hands of Eastern Kentucky and Valparaiso. Eastern Kentucky downed the Pioneers 13-1 in six innings despite SHU jumping out to a 1-0 lead after the first inning thanks to an Amanda Bradley (Langely, BC) RBI single. Valpo edged the Pioneers 1-0 in the first of four one-run losses for Sacred Heart. Russell allowed just five hits in six innings but the Pioneers managed just three hits in the loss.

Freshman Liz Tsipouras (Simi Valley, CA) earned her first collegiate win throwing 5 1/3 innings, allowing one run, and recording three strikeouts in a 3-1 victory over Bucknell. Adrian Fizsimon (Sacramento, CA) and Harvey both tallied an RBI in the third inning to put the Pioneers on top 2-1. Jasmin Vicente’s (Wantagh, NY) sixth inning RBI single provided a 3-1 cushion and Russell earned the save in SHU’s second win of the week.

Sacred Heart fell by one run in its next three straight contests. The Pioneers spoiled a stellar outing by Russell in which she allowed no earned runs, four hits, and seven strikeouts against Maine. However, the Pioneer defense surrendered an unearned run with an error that extended the fourth inning and would lead to a Black Bear steal of home to score the contest’s only run. South Dakota then squeaked by the Pioneers in a 7-6 slugfest. Fitzsimon had her best game of the week going 4 for 4 and driving in three runners.

The Pioneers looked as though they would bounce back as a Perez RBI double and a Shannon McCoy (Yorba Linda, CA) solo blast had the Pioneers poised to earn a 2-1 win over Buffalo. But the wheels came off late and the Bulls rallied in the bottom of the seventh as Kristin Waldren poked a walk-off single to lead Buffalo past SHU 3-2. SIU Edwardsville earned its 18th victory already this season in a 9-2 triumph over the Pioneers. The Pioneers gave up four unearned runs and five runs in the top of the seventh as they let a fourth straight game slip away.

The next day Russell tossed a complete game one hit gem against Rhode Island as Sacred Heart earned a one-run victory of their own. A McCoy RBI double and a Kaleigh Burke steal of home provided just enough offense for the Pioneers third win of the season. In the final game of the tournament SHU gave up five more unearned runs behind Tsipouras as SHU fell to Columbia, 8-4. Jill Timmer (La Mesa, CA) started the game at third base for Sacred Heart and went 2 for 3 with an RBI.

McCoy was only able to bat in just five games of the tournament due to injury but hit .437 with two doubles, a homerun and two RBI. The sophomore catcher is now hitting .367 overall with two homers already in 2009. The Pioneers return to the Northeast for their home opener against UConn March 25. The double header with the Huskies is set to begin at 2:30 at Pioneer Park in Fairfield, CT.