March 28, 2009
Jen Russell (Seymour, CT) pitched a complete game shutout in game one and contributed two and two thirds innings of relief in game two to pick up both winsf as the SHU softball team swept Quinnipiac 2-0 and 1-0 Saturday afternoon at Pioneer Park. Liz Tsipouras (Simi Valley, CA) threw four and one third shutout innings of her own as the starter of game two. The second win of the double header was co-head coaches Elizabeth Luckie and Pam London’s 400 career victory.
Russell allowed two hits in the first inning but worked out of the only trouble she would face all game. The sophomore pitcher retired nineteen straight hitters, striking out 10 along the way. Sacred Heart (5-14, 2-0 NEC) scored the only two runs of the game one in the bottom half of the second inning. Courtney Lee (Camarillo, CA) started the rally with a single to right center. Betsy Harvey (Unionville, CT) then grounded a ball to shortstop but Lee beat the play at second and SHU had two on and no out. Jasmin Vicente (Wantagh, NY) drew a walk to load the bases and freshman Alyssa Garza (Valencia, CA) got her first RBI of the season as she also worked a walk. Jessica Perez (Santa Maria, CA) slashed a single to right to extend the Pioneers lead to 2-0.
Quinnipiac (5-20, 0-2 NEC) pitcher Heather Schwartzburg worked herself out of early trouble in game two, stranding five SHU base runners in the first three innings, and forcing the Pioneers into a pitcher’s duel. Tsipouras pitched well early but ran into a road block in the fifth inning after giving up a one-out double to Julie Sini. The Pioneer coaching staff turned the ball back over to Russell with the top of the Bobcat order due up.
Christine Bourdeau ripped the first pitch from Russell up the middle where Harvey made a diving stop to keep it on the infield. Sini bluffed towards home and Harvey airmailed the throw over catcher Shannon McCoy (Yorba Linda, CA) allowing Sini to take off for home. McCoy hurried to the back stop and shoveled the ball to Lee, rushing in from first, who made a spectacular play to hold onto the ball and absorb the contact as she tagged out Sini at the plate.
Sacred Heart used the momentum to regain the lead in the bottom half of the fifth as McCoy’s RBI single chased in Adrian Fitzsimon (Sacramento, CA). That’s all the support Russell would need as she set down the Bobcats one, two, three in the sixth and struck out the side in the ninth to move the Pioneers to 2-0 in the NEC.
Russell’s final line of the day over two games was an impressive 9.2 innings pitched, three hits, 14 strikeouts, and no walks. Sacred Heart will return to action, weather permitting, tomorrow afternoon as they host the Central Connecticut State Blue Devils at noon at Pioneer Park.