Conway, SC – The SHU softball team kicked-off the 2012 season Friday afternoon at the Chanticleer Challenge hosted by Coastal Carolina but would suffer a pair of defeats on opening day. The Pioneers dropped a 4-1 decision to IPFW before a 6-0 loss at the hands of the host Chanticleers. Carley Rudloff (Queen Creek, AZ) notched the lone RBI of the day for SHU as the senior got the nod at first base after spending last season in right field.
IPFW (3-2) picked up three unearned runs in the second error that would provide the Mastadons with the winning margin. Nicole Sidor (West Vancouver, BC) tossed six innings in her first start of the year, surrendering six hits while recording three strikeouts. IPFW extended its advantage to 4-0 in the fifth inning before the Pioneers would crack the scoreboard in the top of the seventh.
Liz Tsipouras (Simi Valley, CA) slashed an offering down the right field line and hustled around for her first triple of the season. The next batter, Rudloff, singled down the left field to make it a 4-1 affair. Justine Sibthorp (Santa Clarita, CA) notched her first career hit with a pinch-hit double in the top of the sixth inning. The Pioneers would not be able to continue the rally as the Mastadons sealed the victory.
Coastal Carolina (8-3) hung up two runs in the first inning against SHU and got a stellar performance from starter Morgan Mastriania. Mastriania allowed just three hits in a five inning shutout as the game was shortened due to inclement weather. Kacie Wentworth (Canton, NY) tossed four innings in her collegiate debut and was charged with four earned runs. Taylor Lane (Lisbon, CT) completed a scoreless inning of relief.
The Pioneers return to action tomorrow at the Chanticleer Challenge in a rematch with Coastal Carolina as well as a clash with the Temple Owls.