Softball splits pair, records first road win ever at Pace, 11-9, in opener

Softball splits pair, records first road win ever at Pace, 11-9, in opener

BRIARCLIFF, N.Y. - The Saint Michael's College softball team split a Northeast-10 Conference doubleheader at Pace University on Sunday, taking an 11-9 decision in game one before falling by a 10-0 count in five innings in the second contest at Pace Field. The Purple Knights, who finished up a 12-game road trip that included eight contests in Florida, are 1-11 overall and 1-3 in the NE-10. The Setters moved to 3-11 and 2-2.

Saint Michael's won its first road game ever at Pace by claiming the opener, having first visited the Setters in 1999. Junior Sarah Murray (Wallingford, Conn./Sheehan) was 2-for-3 with three RBIs and a double, and sophomore Judi Barcavage (Cold Spring, N.Y./Haldane) had two hits, two runs and two RBIs while launching her first career home run. Classmate Danielle DelGreco (Lexington, Mass./Lexington) posted two hits, two RBIs and a double, and senior Bethany Falls (Essex Junction, Vt./Essex) provided two runs, two walks and a double. Senior Greer Lemnah (Lyndon Center, Vt./Lyndon Institute) and first-year Jessica Carroll (Concord, N.H./Concord) notched two hits, a run and an RBI each, and first-year Jessica Barnett (Essex Junction, Vt./Essex) added two RBIs. Senior Lea Gipson (Bridport, Vt./Middlebury Union) picked up her first career win, firing 5.1 innings of four-hit relief and yielding two runs, both unearned.

Senior Lana Buchbinder (San Francisco, Calif./George Washington) and first-year Nikole Larm (Brewster, N.Y./Brewster) both had two hits, three RBIs and a home run for Pace, while junior Jeane Drury (Flanders, N.J./Morris Catholic) scored three times. Classmate Caitlin McCann (San Mateo, Calif./Notre Dame) took the loss after allowing eight runs on seven hits in three innings.

Barcavage homered to center field with one down in the second inning to forge a 1-1 tie, but Pace broke the game open with six runs on three hits in the third. Buchbinder hit a three-run home run with one down before Larm swatted a three-run shot of her own with two out, giving the Setters a 7-1 lead.

The Purple Knights responded with seven runs, all with two out, on five hits in the third inning. DelGreco, Carroll and Barcavage strung together consecutive RBI singles to bring the visitors within 7-4 before Murray slugged a two-run double. Barnett followed with a two-run single to provide Saint Michael's with an 8-7 edge.

Murray's RBI knock extended the lead in the fifth inning, and a double play that Gipson started by snagging a line drive ended Pace's threat in the home half. DelGreco doubled home Falls in the sixth before Lemnah's two-out single in the seventh made it 11-7. In the bottom portion of the frame, a pair of unearned runs scored with two out, and Pace had the tying run at the plate before Gipson induced a game-ending line drive.

In game two, Barcavage, DelGreco and senior Amanda Brigante (Colchester, Vt./Colchester) all had hits. First-year Rachel Tshonas (Ellington, Conn./Ellington) took the loss, yielding five runs in two-plus innings.

Larm added three RBIs, and first-year Haley Hernandez (West Hills, Calif./El Camino Real) was 2-for-2 with two runs, three RBIs and a walk. Classmate Kaitlynn Nelson (Ojai, Calif./Nordhoff) spun the three-hit shutout.

Brigante and DelGreco both singled with two out in the first inning and advanced 60 feet on an outfield error before being left stranded, and Tshonas worked around three hits in a shutout opening frame. The Purple Knights left runners at the corners in the second, and Tshonas nearly escaped a bases-loaded, no-out jam in the home half thanks to inducing a pair of pop-ups before three straight hits scored four runs, including two on a Hernandez single. Five walks and Larm's two-run single keyed a four-run third inning for Pace, and Drury's two-out, two-run single padded the lead in the fifth.

All three of the Purple Knights' mid-week games have already been postponed, as they are next slated to play on Saturday by hosting Stonehill College for a 12 p.m. doubleheader.