April 2, 2009
The Pioneers earned a split of Thursdays double header with the University of Hartford after Jill Timmer (La Mesa, CA) started a triple play in the bottom of the sixth inning of the second game. Shannon McCoy (Yorba Linda, CA) and Betsy Harvey (Unionville, CT) both notched RBI hits in the top of the first to give the Pioneers a lead they would not relinquish. Liz Tsipouras (Simi Valley, CA) pitched five plus innings of scoreless ball to earn the win.
Sacred Heart (8-15) got the first run of the day in the top of the fourth inning of game one. The Pioneers put runners on second and third via a Harvey single, an Adrian Fitzsimon (Sacramento, CA) hit by pitch, and a successful sacrifice bunt from Jasmin Vicente (Wantagh, NY). Alyssa Garza(Santa Clarita, CA) would not need to swing the bat to bring in a run as Hawks pitcher Stratton committed an illegal pitch to advance the runners.
Hartford (10-10) responded scoring three runs in the bottom of the sixth frame. The Hawks used two RBI singles and a sacrifice fly to open up a 3-1 lead. The Pioneers would not go quietly and a Marissa Montemagni (Chicopee, MA) walk and a McCoy single put the tying runs on base. But the Pioneers fell 3-1 in game one of the double header after a strikeout and lineout provided the final two outs.
The Pioneers wasted no time rebounding from the game one loss posting two runs in the top of the first inning of game two. Taylor Froelich (Garden Grove, CA) belted a double to left center and McCoy doubled two batters later to bring her home. After a fielder’s choice moved McCoy to third Harvey knocked an RBI single up the middle to bring the SHU advantage to 2-0. Sacred Heart extended its lead to 3-0 in the fourth inning on the heels of a Fitzsimon single.
Tsipouras pitched five solid innings but hit a snag in the sixth after giving up two leadoff walks and a bloop single to lead off the frame. Jen Russell (Seymour, CT), the game one starter, entered the game in relief and needed just one batter to get out of the jam. She induced a ground ball to third baseman Timmer who tagged the runner leaving from third, stepped on the bag, and fired to second to complete the 5-5-4 triple play. Russell set three straight Hawks down in the seventh to earn her third save of the year and provide Tsipouras with her third victory.
The Pioneers will now travel to Pennsylvania to face NEC opponents Saint Francis (PA) and Robert Morris in double headers. Sacred Heart are in search of their first Division I playoff berth and enter the weekend 4-0 in Northeast Conference play.