The SHU softball team split on each of its last two days in Florida and returns to the Connecticut after posting a 4-4 mark at the annual Rebel Games. The Pioneers picked up a 1-0 win in a pitcher's duel against Holy Cross behind senior hurler Jen Russell (Seymour, CT). Sacred Heart also routed Detroit Mercy 9-1 with five seventh inning runs while also dropping two run decisions to Lehigh and Colgate.
Sacred Heart (6-7) scored the only run of the contest in the third inning as Melissa Tobin (Hudson, MA) leadoff with a single up the middle. Alyssa Garza (Santa Clarita, CA) laid down a sacrifice bunt while Taylor Froelich (Garden Grove, CA) plated Tobin with a RBI single. Russell allowed just five hits and struck out six batters from the pitching circle to record the Pioneers first shutout of 2011.
Annie Dreher (Saugus, CA) gave SHU a 2-0 advantage in the third frame against Lehigh with a two out single to drive in Froelich and Courtney Lee (Camarllo, CA). Nicole Sidor (West Vancouver, BC) surrendered just one hit over the first four innings of action. However, the Mountain Hawks took advantage of a two out SHU fielding error to tack on three unearned runs in the fifth. Sidor recorded nine strikeouts but picked up the tough luck loss as SHU fell 4-2 to Lehigh.
The Pioneers jumped out on Detroit-Mercy early as Liz Tsipouras (Simi Valley, CA) slashed a run scoring double in the top of the first to score Lee, who drew a two out walk. The Titans evened the game in their half of the fourth, pushing across an unearned run. Froelich belted her second homer of the year in the fifth, a solo shot, to put the Pioneers back on top 2-1. In the next frame Dreher supplied a two run blast to give SHU some breathing room at 4-1. That would be all the room Russell needed as the senior pitcher picked up her fourth win of the year without allowing an earned run. Sacred Heart plated five runs in the seventh to cruise to a 9-1 triumph.
SHU again scored in the first inning versus Colgate as Jade Bowins (Frederick, MD) singled, stole a base, and eventually crossed the plate on a Tsipouras RBI hit. Sidor breezed through five innings with just one Raider reaching scoring position. However, Colgate batted around in the sixth and notched five runs on six hits. Lee powered a two run double in the seventh but SHU would not be able to pull any closer as the Pioneers fell 5-3 in their final contest of the Rebel Games.
Froelich led the Pioneers during the Rebel Games with a .467 batting average, picking up 14 hits in 30 at bats. Dreher slammed a team high three long balls and recorded nine RBI over the eight game event.
The Pioneers will play in the Northeast for the first time this season as they compete in a tournament hosted by Seton Hall, March 18-20.