Fairfield, CT – The Pioneer softball team completed a season sweep of rival Fairfield with a 5-0 road victory Wednesday afternoon. Nicole Sidor (West Vancouver, BC), Taylor Lane (Lisbon, CT), and Liz Tsipouras (Simi Valley, CA) combined in the pitching circle to shutout the Stags for the second time in 2011, also holding Fairfield to three hits. Courtney Lee (Camarillo, CA) went a perfect 3-for-3 at the plate and posted a pair of RBI for the SHU offense.
Sacred Heart (22-18) jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning. Jade Bowins (Frederick, MD) ripped a one-out extra base hit to left field and used her speed to stretch it into a triple. Lee plated the first run of the game, and picked up her first RBI on a squeeze play. The Pioneers stretched the advantage to 2-0 in the third as the top of the SHU batting order strung together three straight singles. Lee had the final hit of the rally to score Taylor Froelich (Garden Grove, CA) from second base.
Fairfield (20-15) managed just two hits against Pioneer starter Sidor, who struck out five batters in four innings of work to earn her eighth win of the season. The top of the Sacred Heart batting order would produce another run in the top of the fifth. Froelich started the inning with a double down the left field line and advanced to third on a passed ball. Bowins brought home the run with a ground ball back to the pitcher, making it 3-0.
Lane tossed two innings of scoreless relief without allowing a base runner and striking out two Stags. Annie Dreher (Saugus, CA) provided a pair of insurance runs in the seventh with a single to left field to pad the SHU lead to 5-0. Tsipouras entered the circle for the final half inning and gave up only a two-out hit before recording the final out of the afternoon.
The Pioneers will take the win into a crucial Northeast Conference double header Friday afternoon. Sacred Heart meets Quinnipiac at 1:00 pm at home with the top seed in the upcoming NEC tournament possibly hanging in the balance.