April 7, 2010
Fairfield, CT - The Sacred Heart softball team split two games with Ivy League opponent Dartmouth in a twinbill this afternoon at Pioneer Park. The Pioneers took the first game 4-1 as starting pitcher Jen Russell (Seymour, CT) tossed a complete game while Liz Tsipouras supplied two RBI. The Big Green rebounded in the finale as Evan Gray scattered eight Pioneer hits to shutout SHU, 7-0.
Sacred Heart (12-15) took an early 1-0 lead in the opening game as they pushed across a run in the bottom of the first. Alyssa Garza (Santa Clarita, CA) drew a one out walk and then stole second two pitches later. Tsipouras came up with a two out RBI single down the right field line to put SHU on the scoreboard.
The Pioneers extended the advantage to 4-0 with three runs in their half of the third. Marissa Montemagni (Chicopee, MA) started the inning with a single to center. Taylor Froelich (Garden Grove, CA) followed her with a fielder's choice but both runners were safe thanks to a Big Green fielding error. Garza advanced both runners into scoring position for Adrian Fitzsimon (Sacramento, CA) with a sacrifice bunt. Fitzsimon drove in a run and reached base with a bunt single to make it a 2-0 affair. Tsipouras and Amanda Bradley (Langley, BC) posted back-to-back RBI singles to put SHU on top 4-0.
Dartmouth (4-18) scored its only run of the game in the top of the fourth after a Sacred Heart error led to an unearned run. Russell picked up her seventh win of 2010 allowing just five hits and striking out five batters giving up no earned runs. In her last 21 innings Russell has surrendered just 7 hits and zero earned runs.
The Big Green posted its biggest inning of the day, plating three runs, in the first inning of the backend of the twinbill. Sacred Heart starter Nicole Sidor (North Vancouver, BC) got into early trouble after walking two of the first three batters she faced and not recording an out on a bunt attempt. The freshman nearly recovered getting the next two batters she faced to strike out. The inning appeared to be over when Sidor fanned a third straight batter with a ball in the dirt but the pitch bounced away from catcher Shannon McCoy (Yorba Linda, CA) and a run scored to keep the inning alive. A bloop single would extend the Dartmouth lead to 3-0 before Sidor stopped the bleeding with her fourth strikeout of the frame.
Froelich started the SHU first inning with a leadoff double but the Pioneers would not be able to bring her around. The Big Green extended its advantage in the second as Kirstin Costello hit a solo homer of the left center field fence. Bradley opened the bottom of the second with a single but a double play would quickly erase her and the Pioneer threat. Molly Khalil started the Dartmouth third with a solo homerun of her own to chase starting pitcher Sidor. Kylie Abrams (Thousand Oaks, CA) pitched two innings of scoreless relief allowing just one hit.
The Pioneers had another chance to score in the bottom of the fourth with two runners in scoring position and two outs. Carley Rudloff (Thousand Oaks, CA) hit a ball hard into right field but right at Kristen Adams who made the catch for the third out. Sacred Heart also loaded the bases in the fifth but another hard line drive with two outs, this time off the bat of Tsipouras, would find the glove of Adams in right to keep SHU scoreless in game two of the double header. Costello belted a two run homer in the top of the seventh to provide Dartmouth with its last bit of insurance as the Big Green went on to win 7-0.
Sacred Heart returns to action this weekend with a double header on Saturday, April 10th against Northeast Conference rival Saint Francis (PA). First pitch of the double header is set for 1:00 pm.