CLERMONT, Fla. (3/19/12) – The Kean University softball team split in action at the NTC Spring Games, defeating Western New England University, 9-1, in five innings, before falling to University of Thomas, 5-4, in the nightcap.
GAME ONE: Yard Tosses Two-Hitter in Five-Inning 9-1 Win Over Western New England
Rookie right-hander Courtney Yard allowed just two hits and picked up two hits herself and scored twice to lead the Cougars (5-3) to a 9-1 win in five-innings over Western New England University (2-4).
With the game tied at 1-1 after each team scored in the third inning, the Cougars scored five times in the fourth inning and tacked on three more runs in the fifth inning to close out the eight-run victory in five innings.
Yard led off the fourth inning with a single and would score the go-ahead run on a throwing error after a bunt single by junior Courtney Melchionna and sacrifice bunt by sophomore first baseman Kelly Moorehead moved her over to third base. Sophomore catcher Jillian Martin followed with an RBI single to plate Melchionna and senior shortstop Alicia Banz added a two-run single to extend the lead to 5-1.
Banz closed out the scoring in the inning, coming home on the sacrifice fly by junior second baseman Katie Schuh.
An inning later, Yard doubled to lead off the inning and scored two batters later on the double by Moorehead. Martin (pictured left)drove home Moorehead with the RBI single and Schuh had a bases-loaded walk to plate rookie centerfielder Maria Scopollito for the game’s final run.
Yard (4-1) went the distance, striking out seven batters and not allowing an earned run. Martin finished 3-of-3 with two runs scored and two RBI, while Schuh added three RBI.
GAME TWO: Cougar Rally Falls Short; St. Thomas Plates Game-Winning Run in Top of Seventh
The Cougars rallied from a 4-0 deficit to tie the game, however St. Thomas (8-4) plated the game-winning run in the top of the seventh to pull out the 5-4 win.
St. Thomas took a 3-0 lead in t he top of the second inning, capitalizing on four hits. Left fielder Maggie Briesmeister led off the inning with a double and scored two batters later on a single by shortstop Jenna Hoffman. Hoffman, who advanced to second on the throw, scored on a single by Mary Rentz, who closed out the scoring for the 3-0 lead.
After St. Thomas extended the lead to 4-0 in the top of the fourth inning, Kean got a run back in the bottom half of the inning on a RBI triple by Moorehead.
An inning later, the Cougars tied the game at 4-4, taking advantage of three hits and three St. Thomas errors.
Martin led off with a double, advanced to third on a throwing error and scored one batter later on the RBI single by Banz to cut the deficit in half. Sophomore Megan Cegielski followed with a bunt single and the Cougars would load the bases two batters later when sophomore left fielder Sandra Binkiewicz reached on the error. Courtney Yard (pictured left) had an RBI fielder’s choice to score Banz and Cegielski tied the game, scoring on the throwing error as the Tommies tried to turn the double-play.
The Tommies scored the game-winner in the top of the seventh inning with a two-out RBI single.
Kean got the first two runners on board in the bottom half of the inning, however the Tommies got out of the inning to preserve the win.
Yard (4-2) went the distance, scattering nine hits, while striking out four batters and allowing no walks. At the plate, Yard had a pair of hits and a RBI, while Banz had one hit, one RBI and one run scored.
The Cougars return to action on Wednesday, March 21, when they face Concordia University (1 p.m.) and Wesleyan University (5 p.m.).