Fairfield, CT – The SHU softball team put together 24 hits en route to winning both ends of a Northeast Conference double header Sunday afternoon against Mount St. Mary's. Taylor Froelich (Garden Grove, CA) went 6-for-8 at the dish and scored four runs while driving in two more. Liz Tsipouras (Simi Valley, CA) improved her NEC leading RBI total to 31 by plating six SHU runners on the day. Jen Russell (Seymour, CT) and Nicole Sidor (West Vancouver, BC) each picked up a win in the pitching circle for the Pioneers who have now six of their last eight games.
Sacred Heart (16-12, 5-1 NEC) notched the first run of the opening game in the bottom of the third inning. Jade Bowins (Frederick, MD) used her speed to leg-out a double and scored two batters later on a Tsipouras base knock down the left field line. The Pioneers would extend the margin in the fourth as Kirsten Savage (Harrison Park, NJ) and Marissa Montemagni (Chicopee, MA) each drew one-out walks. Froelich made it 3-0 and cleared the bases with her first triple of 2011. The senior center field came in to score SHU's fourth run thanks to a Mountaineer fielding error. Tsipouras came up with another RBI hit, chasing home Courtney Lee (Camarillo, CA) with a shot to the right center field gap.
Mount St. Mary's (9-17, 1-5 NEC) cut into the Sacred Heart led with a trio of runs in the top of the fifth. The first three Mountaineers reached base while a Courtney Zingle single gave the visitors their first run of the day. Jenna Zimmerman then smacked a two-run triple of her own to move the Mount within two at 5-3. Russell escaped the inning for SHU by inducing back-to-back ground outs. Sacred Heart gave its senior pitcher some breathing room with a pair of runs in the sixth. Shannon McCoy (Yorba Linda, CA) provided both scores with a two RBI single. Russell closed the game with a 1-2-3 seventh to earn her eighth victory of the season.
The Pioneers got right to work in the first inning of game two as Froelich and Bowins both reached base to start the game, moving into scoring position on a Lee sacrifice bunt. Tsipouras popped out in foul ground on a ball against the SHU dugout. However, she would pick up the RBI as Froelich came home and put SHU on top 1-0 with an aggressive piece of base running. The Pioneers blew the game open in the third with a monster six run inning. Sacred Heart took advantage of several illegal pitches from the Mount hurlers and got three straight RBI doubles from Lee, Tsipouras, and Annie Dreher (Saugus, CA).
Sidor started the game lights out for SHU and retired the first nine hitters she faced in order. The Mountaineers scored their only two runs of the second game of the afternoon in the fourth as Chloe Mizianty homered following a Leddy leadoff single. Tsipouras rounded out her six RBI afternoon with one in both the fifth and sixth innings. Sidor finished the game with 11 strikeouts, surrendering just three hits and one walk, to pick up the "W" and move to 6-3 on the year. She would also end the game via the run rule in the sixth inning with a two RBI single up the middle.
The Pioneers 16-12 overall record and 5-1 Northeast Conference mark is the best start for the program since joining the division I ranks. The Pioneers next play on the road this Wednesday for a 3:00 pm double header in Hanover, NH versus Dartmouth.