CLERMONT, Fla. - A pair of narrow losses capped the Saint Michael's College softball team's Spring Break trip to Florida on Friday at Legends Way, as the Purple Knights fell to Concordia University-Saint Paul, 3-1, and against Indiana University of Pennsylvania, 1-0 in eight innings. The Purple and Gold, which is winless through nine contests, completed a scheduled 10-game visit to The Spring Games, with one contest canceled due to rain.
Seniors Danielle Barbato (Hillsdale, N.Y./Taconic Hills) and Christina Brazeau (Warwick, R.I./Saint Mary Academy-Bay View) both went 1-for-3 in the opener for Saint Michael's, with Brazeau scoring a run and Barbato knocking her in. First-year Torie Rathwell (Guilderland, N.Y./Guilderland) allowed only two earned runs during a complete-game effort, striking out one and walking one.
Senior Liz Jarosz was 2-for-3 with an RBI for 6-13 Concordia-Saint Paul, while junior Nicole Thompson and sophomore Carlie Hart both batted 2-for-4 with a run. Hart also doubled. Senior Linzy Heim carried a no-hitter into the sixth before yielding one run on two hits over seven frames. She fanned three and walked two.
Three straight Golden Bears singled to begin the bottom of the first before Rathwell induced two fielder's-choice grounders that led to outs at the plate, and a groundout ended the frame. Concordia-Saint Paul broke through with a run in the fourth on senior Elena Koncar's two-out RBI single, and Jarosz added a two-out RBI knock in the fifth. With her team down 2-0 in the sixth, Brazeau singled with one down before moving up on a sac bunt, and Barbato singled her home but was thrown out at second trying to stretch the hit into a double. A two-out error brought around the third Golden Bear run in the home half, and the Purple Knights went down in order in the seventh.
In the second contest, Barbato doubled and walked, while four others had one hit, including first-year Aleksandra Apkarian (Butler, N.J./Butler), whose knock was the first of her career. Junior Danielle Brown (Vergennes, Vt./Vergennes Union) scattered three hits over an eight-inning complete game, as the lone run she allowed was unearned. Brown walked four and struck out seven, increasing her career total to 245 strikeouts and passing Kara McManus '02 (241) for fourth in program history. She is one shy of Stephanie Frank '13 (246).
Junior Ashley Smith was 1-for-2 with a walk and a hit-by-pitch for 6-5 Indiana, senior Hannah Mercer tripled, and sophomore Megan Risinger spun the five-hit shutout. She struck out six and walked two.
With two on and two out in the second inning, Apkarian made a diving catch at third base to end the frame. Barbato doubled with one out in the bottom of the fourth but was left on, and Mercer countered with a two-out triple in the sixth, but Brown induced a fly ball to end the threat. Another diving catch by Apkarian in the seventh came amid an inning during which the Crimson Hawks put two on with one out, but a strikeout and popup accounted for the final two outs. The Purple Knights loaded the bases with one out in the home half of the seventh on a walk and two singles but were held off the scoreboard, and the teams headed to extra innings.
With the International Tiebreaker in effect in the eighth inning, junior Alaina Montgomery was placed on second base. First-year Kaitlyn Beers singled with one down to move the go-ahead run to third before heading to second on a delayed steal. A Purple Knight infielder tried to catch her swiping second but missed her target, and Montgomery scored on the error. Consecutive hit batsmen loaded the bags, but Brown struck out the final hitter. In the bottom half, junior Kaleigh Fallon (Mashpee, Mass./Sturgis Charter Public School) was placed on second and moved to third on a sacrifice bunt. After a groundout, Barbato walked, but the final batter flew out to left field.
The Purple Knights are slated to begin their Northern and Northeast-10 Conference slates on Wednesday by hosting Franklin Pierce University for a 3 p.m. twinbill.