FORT MYERS, Fla. – The Curry College softball team dropped a pair of decisions to the University of St. Joseph (Conn.) Blue Jays and the Wilmington (Ohio) Fightin' Quakers earlier today at the CenturyLink Sports Complex in Fort Myers, Fla. Unable to find the early-inning magic which aided their offense earlier in the week, the Colonels trailed in both games and failed to complete either comeback in a disappointing day three in Florida.
Game One: St. Joseph (Conn.) 12, Curry 8
Each team scored in the first, as Isabella Russo (Southington, Conn.) of SJU and Jordan Perzan (Burlington, Conn.) of Curry collected the first two RBI of the day. The Blue Jays would soon break the game open, though; by scoring four runs in the third and two more in the fourth. Trailing 7-1, the Colonels' offense started to break through as Michaela Colleran (East Bridgewater, Mass.) singled home a pair in the bottom of the fourth, but the Blue Jays would get the runs right back in the following half inning, pushing the lead to 9-3 after two Curry errors extended the inning.
With just six outs left to work with, the Colonels bats exploded, scoring three runs before SJU could record an out. After a Taylor Newcomb RBI scored the fourth Colonels run of the inning, knocking out the Blue Jay starter Natalie Amato (Cheshire, Conn.), Curry managed to push one more runner across to pull the score to 9-8 SJU entering the seventh. With the Colonels looking for a shutdown inning, however, SJU took the momentum right back, grabbing three runs and stretching the lead back out to four. In the bottom half of the inning, the Colonels managed to load the bases, but a ground out ended the threat, giving the Blue Jays a 12-8 decision.
Russo led the charge in the win with a 3-for-5 day at the dish, collecting three RBI and three runs scored. Kara Klimaszewski (Naugatuck, Conn.) also went 3-for-5, while crossing the plate twice and driving in a pair. Kacy O'Connor (Milford, Conn.) posted a multi-hit day for the Blue Jays as well, going 2-for-4 with a walk and three RBI. Amato earned the win, striking out three and giving up three earned over 5.1 innings, while the 1.2 scoreless innings pitched by Julia Annecchiarico (Ludlow, Mass.) were enough to snag the save. Allison May (West Bridgewater, Mass.) falls to 0-2 on the year, giving up 12 runs (seven earned) over six and two thirds.
SJU improved to 3-2 on the year, before dropping their second game of the day 11-3 to Kenyon College to go back to .500 at 3-3. The Blue Jays will return to the field tomorrow afternoon at 1:00 p.m. to face Pitt-Bradford on field #2 at the CenturyLink Sports Complex. Later in the day, RIT will find the Blue Jays on field #2 at 5 p.m. The morning loss put the Colonels' record at 3-2 heading into game two.
Game Two: Wilmington (Ohio) 8, Curry 2
With both teams coming off five games in three days, including one each this morning, the bats seemed exhausted early in this one, as the Colonels and Fightin' Quakers mustered just one hit each over the first three innings of play. Things started to turn around in the top of the fourth, though, as three straight Colonels reached base with two outs to push a pair of runs across the plate and take a 2-0 lead. The advantage would not last long, as Wilmington answered with a pair of their own in the bottom half of the inning, scoring twice with nobody out. Curry killed the rally with three straight outs to leave the bases loaded, but after the Wilmington starter Grace Shell (Sidney, Ohio) got through a scoreless fifth, the Quaker offense got back to work. Wilmington led off the inning with four straight base runners, forcing Carrigan Costello (Wolcott, Conn.) to hand the ball over to May. Both inherited runners scored to push the score to 6-2, but the sophomore wing stopped the bleeding by retiring three of the four batters she faced in the inning. Faced with a late deficit for the second time of the day, the Colonels managed just a hit and a walk over their final two frames while the Quakers drove in another two runs to take the game 8-2.
Liana Duarte (Taunton, Mass.) accounted for the only multi-hit game for the Colonels, going 2-for-3. Mariyah Burkhardt (Springfield, Ohio), Jillia Cook (Canton, Ohio), Megan Crager (Westerville, Ohio), and Alecia Kemp (Blanchester, Ohio) each recorded a pair of hits for Wilmington, while Crager and Kemp each crossed the plate twice. KenDahl Bowles (Middletown, Ohio) and Allison Pierce (Troy, Ohio) drove in two runs apiece while Burkhardt registered 3 RBI. Costello is handed her first loss of the year after giving up six runs (five earned) over four innings of work. Shell earned a complete game victory, giving up two earned on five hits while collecting six strikeouts to improve to 3-0 on the year.
With the win, Wilmington's record improves to 5-1 on the year while the Colonels go to 3-3 overall after a 0-2 day. Curry will enjoy an off day tomorrow before returning to the diamond for another double-header on Thursday, March 14. The Colonels head back to the North Collier Regional Park in Naples, Fla. to face off against Pitt-Bradford at 11:00 a.m. on field #3 and will stay there to take on New Jersey City at 1:00 p.m. Tomorrow, the Fightin' Quakers resume a brutal stretch of 10 games in five days, remaining at the CenturyLink Sports Complex in Fort Myers to take on Lesley College at 9:00 a.m and Western Connecticut State at 11:00 a.m. Both games will be played on field #4.