CLERMONT, Fla. – The Saint Michael's College softball team resumed its season-opening 10-game Spring Break trip by dropping a pair of non-conference contests to Southern Connecticut State University, 8-7 and 12-2, at The Spring Games in Hancock Park on Monday. The Purple Knights are winless through eight contests, while the Owls move to 4-7. Though the institutions are Northeast-10 Conference counterparts, the teams battled one another for the first time since a March 23, 2013 doubleheader.
Saint Michael's junior Danielle Barbato (Hillsdale, N.Y./Taconic Hills) hit a two-run home run as part of a 3-for-4 showing in game one, while senior Danielle DelGreco (Lexington, Mass./Lexington) was 3-for-3 with an RBI double, two runs scored and a walk. Senior Judi Barcavage (Cold Spring, N.Y./Haldane) doubled and scored twice in a 2-for-4 effort, sophomore Danielle Brown (Vergennes, Vt./Vergennes Union) provided a pair of RBI singles and first-year Payton Witalec (Ballston Spa, N.Y./Ballston Spa) turned in a two-run single. Brown also allowed just one hit and struck out four batters while tossing 1.2 scoreless relief innings. First-year starter Molly Feeney (Valhalla, N.Y./John F. Kennedy Catholic) took the loss after yielding seven earned runs over 4.1 innings.
Junior Giuliana D'Arcangelo paced the way for Southern Connecticut State, going 3-for-4 with a grand slam and a double while scoring twice. Classmate Arianna Medeiros, sophomores Victoria Ceballos and Bryanna McIntosh and first-year Catherine Ursillo each had a multi-hit performance, with McIntosh and Ursillo both scoring a pair of runs and Ceballos contributing two RBIs. Ceballos won in relief, surrendering three runs on six hits in 2.2 innings, while senior Yesenia Evaristo was tagged for four runs on five hits while striking out six in the opening 4.1 frames.
Southern Connecticut State started the bottom of the first inning with three straight singles before Ceballos was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded. Junior Brooke Franco's sacrifice fly gave the Owls a 2-0 lead after the opening frame. Saint Michael's knotted the score in the next half inning thanks to DelGreco's RBI double and Brown's RBI single, but the Owls retook the lead in the home half after D'Arcangelo's grand slam to left center.
Southern Connecticut State tacked on a run in the fourth to grab a 7-2 advantage, but Saint Michael's equalized with a five-run fifth inning. Barbato blasted a one-out, two-run homer, Brown chipped in a bases loaded RBI single, and Witalec's base knock through the left side plated two runs to tie the game at 7-7. The Owls secured the lead for good in the bottom of the fifth on Ceballos's two-out RBI single. After a scoreless sixth, Saint Michael's got the tying run on first base, but Ceballos induced a pop up before striking out the final batter.
In game two, Saint Michael's first-year Fallon Tierney (Reading, Mass./Reading Memorial) went 2-for-3 as she and junior Caroline Staples (Stoughton, Mass./Fontbonne Academy) both provided RBI singles. Senior Jenna Maksian (Shrewsbury, Mass./Shrewsbury) drew three walks and scored once. Brown took the complete-game loss after allowing five earned runs and fanning a season-high eight batters.
Medeiros went 3-for-5 with two runs scored for the Owls. Junior Danielle Piazza clubbed a two-run home run, D'Arcangelo and McIntosh both tripled and junior Holly Noe doubled home three runs. Franco and junior Arianne Tedeschi both drew two walks and senior Kelsey Cockrill threw a complete-game four hitter with 11 strikeouts.
Southern Connecticut State scored six times over the opening three innings, highlighted by McIntosh's two-run triple in the third. Saint Michael's got on the board in the fourth and trimmed the margin to 6-2 after Staples and Tierney lined RBI singles through the left side. Piazza's sixth-inning, two-run homer was followed in the seventh by Noe's bases-clearing double and D'Arcangelo's RBI triple to stretch the Owls' advantage to 12-2. Tierney's single in the seventh served as the Purple Knights' final base runner.
Saint Michael's concludes its Spring Break trip by facing the University of Wisconsin-Platteville tomorrow at 5 p.m. and Hendrix (Ark.) College at 7 p.m.