Feb. 28, 2010
Liz Tsipouras (Simi Valley, CA) hit a homerun for the second straight game but the Pioneers would not be able to hold off Cleveland State, dropping a 4-2 decision in the championship game of the Spartan Classic. Shannon McCoy (Yorba Linda, CA) had the other Sacred Heart RBI, a sacrifice fly in the top of the second. The Vikings got 11 strikeouts from senior pitcher Amanda Macenko, earning her sixth victory of the season.
Cleveland State (7-3) jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first after retiring the Pioneers in order in the top half of the frame. Freshman Dara Toman got the RBI single with two outs to drive in Gabby Gillian, who drew a walk earlier in the inning.
Sacred Heart (2-3) would immediately respond, knotting the game at one in the top of the second. Tsipouras found herself on second base with one out after a fielding error by the Vikings center fielder, Jessica Burt. Adrian Fizsimon (Sacramento, CA) followed that up with a single to move Tsipouras to third. McCoy was the next batter and picked up her first RBI of the season with a sac fly to right.
The Vikings broke the tie in the bottom of the third as Toman hit a two run blast to burn the Pioneers again and make it a 3-1 affair. The Pioneers would respond in the next half inning, cutting the CSU lead to 3-2 on Tsipouras' one out solo shot. Fitzsimon followed that with a double to center field and was then pinch run for by Jessica Di Piazza (Pompton Plains, NJ). McCoy made a bid for her second RBI of the game with a hit to right field but Di Piazza was cut down at the plate as the Vikings preserved their lead.
The Pioneers would then be retired in order in the last three innings while Cleveland State added an insurance run in the sixth to pick up the win and the Spartan Classic championship. Jen Russell (Seymour, CT) struck out seven batters and walked two in her third start of the season.
Sacred Heart returns to action March 7th as they head to Osceola, FL to compete at the Rebel Games. Over six days the Pioneers will play ten games as teams from across the country converge in Florida for the annual tournament.