Hartford Falls in Doubleheader at Holy CrossApril 12, 2012
WORCESTER, Mass. – In mid-week action, the University of Hartford softball team dropped a pair of games to the Holy Cross Crusaders at Freshman Field on Thursday afternoon. Hartford fell in five innings in the opening game by a 12-4 final and suffered a 6-4 setback in game two.
The Hawks led early in both contests, but Holy Cross (6-22) secured the advantages with a six-run fourth inning in the first game followed by a three-run third frame in the night cap to complete the sweep. Amber Andrews, a sophomore second baseman, paced the Hartford (4-31) at the plate, combining to bat 4-for-7 on the afternoon with three runs scored.
Hartford jumped out to an early 1-0 lead with Andrews scoring the first run of the afternoon. After singling to the outfield to start off the game, the speedy sophomore took two more bases, capitalizing on an error by Holy Cross’ left fielder. She was then driven home two batters later when Kate Wacyk hit into an infield ground out to give the Hawks the advantage early on.
Holy Cross was able to plate a pair of runs in the top of the second, using two solo home runs to take its first lead of the afternoon. Alex Gustafson got the bats going with a lead-off homer down the left field line, and after Hawks’ hurler Siera Sheehan retired Emma Keough, Nicole Ortiz provided the Crusaders with the one run edge by smacking a four-bagger straight to centerfield.
After exchanging zeroes in the third inning, Hartford lit up the scoreboard with three runs to regain the lead by a 4-2 margin. After reaching base on another Holy Cross miscue, junior Jordan Haines moved 60 feet on a passed ball and used a ground out to advance to third. The Hawks’ catcher easily reached home on a single off the bat of Melani Maxwell and following another base hit by junior Erica Phelps, Peyton Fisher, a rookie, sailed a double into left center field with two outs that allowed both base runners to score while racking up her seventh and eighth RBIs of the year.
The bottom of the fourth frame proved to be the pivotal stretch of the game as Holy Cross caught up with Hartford using a lead-off double by Sam Fregenti, followed by a Gustafson single and a Keough walk to load up the bases. In the next at-bat, Ortiz was then hit by a Sheehan pitch, allowing the Crusaders’ third run of the game to cruise across the plate.
Cassie Girvalo, a pinch-hitter, earned another free RBI and knotted up the game at 4-4 when she drew a walk off of Sheehan, and following an infield fly, Holy Cross broke open the deadlock and scored the go-ahead run on a wild pitch. After the Crusaders earned another walk, the Hawks brought in sophomore Kaitlyn Meade with the bases loaded and no outs recorded in the stanza. Following the pitching change, the Crusaders plated three more runs using a ground out by Sewell and a two-run single by Kelliner Croushore to double their lead at 8-4.
In the bottom of the fifth frame, Holy Cross added four more insurance runs to clinch 12-4 the victory in five innings.
Six players accounted for the Hawks’ eight hits, led by Amber Andrews (2-forr-3) and Erica Phelps (2-for-20. Barrett garnered the win inside of the circle, going the distance and allowing four unearned runs. Sheehan suffered the loss, allowing six earned runs over two innings.
In game two, Hartford again gained the early lead, this time at a 2-0 mark, after Andrews, who led off the outing with a two-bagger, scored when freshman Devynne Butler reached on an infield throwing error. Butler would score the second run of the game with two outs when she advanced from third to home plate on a passed third strike.
Holy Cross snagged one of those runs back in its first at-bats before the Hawks added two more on the scoreboard in the top of the second to push ahead at 4-1. Fisher started the stanza by drawing a walk off of Camille Trainor, the Crusaders’ hurler, and after stealing second, she was pushed 60 more feet on Andrews’ second hit of the contest. A passed ball would score the Hawks’ lead-off batter and Andrews would provide Hartford with a three-run lead when she used a sacrifice fly by Wacyk to cross home plate.
The Crusaders, who held the Hawks off of the scoreboard for the final four innings while allowing just a pair of hits during that stretch, knotted up the score in bottom of the third with three runs and went on to break the tie in the bottom half of the fourth with two insurance runs.
Eve Clausen earned the start in the nightcap and drops to 0-5 on the season. She threw for three innings, scattering eight hits and allowing six earned runs. In relief, Sheehan saw three innings of action, allowing one hit while recording two strikeouts.
The Hawks continue their stretch of non-league games when they host the Manhattan Jaspers on Sunday for a doubleheader. The two squads have met at least one time in each of the last five years, with the Hawks and Jaspers splitting six games down the middle at 3-3.