Freshman Annie Dreher (Saugus, CA) drove in five runs, including a game winning three-run homer, as the SHU softball team posted a 9-2 win over Temple and a 4-1 victory against Eastern Kentucky Wednesday morning at the Rebel Games in southern Florida. Tuesday afternoon the Pioneers suffered a pair of setbacks to Penn and Indiana State. Senior pitcher Jen Russell (Seymour, CT) picked up the win against Temple and closed the game for her second save of 2011 versus Eastern Kentucky.
Sacred Heart (4-5) opened Wednesday with three runs in the bottom of the first to jump out on Temple early. Taylor Froelich (Garden Grove, CA) set the tone for the day with a leadoff homer to center field. Dreher capped off the inning with a two-run blast as the rookie launched one over the left field fence. Nicole Sidor (West Vancouver, BC) padded the SHU lead to 4-0 with a RBI single to plate Courtney Lee (Camarillo, CA). Lee had a productive morning at the dish, going 4-for-7 and scoring four runs over the two games.
Temple (5-8) got its first run of the day in the fourth on a two-out single before Russell ended the inning with a strikeout. The Pioneers added three more runs in their half of the fourth on a Froelich single and a pair of Owls fielding errors. Temple scratched out another run in the top of the sixth but again Sacred Heart answered with a crooked number in the bottom of the inning. SHU plated a pair of runs on three straight this from Jade Bowins (Frederick, MD), Lee, and Liz Tsipouras (Simi Valley, CA). Russell tossed a complete game to earn her second win of 2011 as the Pioneers registered their second highest scoring total of the young season.
Froelich led off the third inning in a scoreless game against Eastern Kentucky (12-6) with a double to left field. The senior center fielder went 5-for-8 at the plate on Wednesday, including two extra base hits. Tsipouras eventually provided SHU with a 1-0 advantage on a sacrifice fly down the left field line. After two comfortable innings SHU starter Sidor had runners in scoring position with no outs in the bottom of the third. A Colonel sacrifice fly knotted the score while the next hitter lined a ball off of Sidor's pitching hand, forcing the sophomore to leave the game after 2.2 innings of work. Tsipouras came on in relief to finish the frame and keep the game level at 1-1.
Lee and Tsipouras both reached base in the fifth inning to bring up Dreher. The righty went yard for the second time in the morning to break open the game and give SHU a 4-1 advantage. But Eastern Kentucky had a serious threat going in the sixth with the bases loaded and no outs. Tsipouras forced the next batter into an infield fly before mowing down two straight hitters for strikeouts to complete her 3.1 innings of relief. Tsipours would pick up the win in the circle as Russell came on to toss a scoreless seventh and secure the 4-1 victory for Sacred Heart.
In the opening day of the Rebel Games the Pioneer bats were quiet. Penn (4-1) posted an 11-2 triumph over SHU, extending a 4-2 lead in the final two innings. The bright spot of the game was Froelich's 4-for-4 outing at the plate and Sidor's two RBI single. The Pioneers then dropped a tight 2-1 decision to Indiana State. Sidor got the start in the game and helped her own cause with a RBI double in the second inning to get an early lead. But the Sycamores struck for two runs in the sixth inning as Sidor picked up the loss despite a solid six inning outing which included just six total base runners and five strikeouts.
The Pioneer softball team will stay in Florida for games with Holy Cross and Lehigh on Friday followed by clashes with Colgate and Detroit-Mercy on Saturday.