NAPLES, Fla. – The Curry College softball team completed a 2-0 first day at the Gene Cusic Classic thanks to a 9-6 victory over Nazareth. The Colonels will look to build on their 2-0 record tomorrow while the Golden Flyers will look to rebound from a 0-2 start.
After Curry scored seven first inning runs in their first contest of the day versus Alfred State, their bats stayed hot by driving in five runs in the first against Nazareth. The Golden Flyers posed the first threat of the day by loading the bases in the top of the first, but after failing to score, Curry took control. In the bottom of the first, the Colonels scored on three straight at bats, taking advantage of errors as all three runs came across unearned. With the 3-0 lead, Caroline Johnson (Milton, Mass.) walked to put runners on first and second, before Taylor Newcomb (Millville, Mass.) and Talia Forte (North Scituate, R.I.) hit back-to-back RBI singles to make the score 5-0.
The Golden Flyers managed a run in the second to cut into the lead thanks to a Janelle Walters (North Syracuse, N.Y.) RBI, but the Colonels retained the momentum by scoring three more of their own in the bottom half of the inning, highlighted by a two run hit off the bat of Kiana Lloyd (Worcester, Mass.). Despite Curry looking for a shutdown inning in the top of the third, Sarah Simmons (Victor, N.Y.) cut the lead back down to four with the only dinger of the day, a three-run shot to left which made the score 8-4. The Colonels got one of these runs back, pushing a run across after a pickoff attempt found its way past the third baseman, bringing the lead back to five at 9-4. This score would hold until the final inning, when Nazareth capitalized on a costly mistake, as Kylie Smith (Buffalo, N.Y.) and Katherine Ruoff (Vestal, N.Y.) both scored on a bases loaded error in the infield. Shortly after the play, Allison May (West Bridgewater, Mass.) entered the game to close it out, retiring the only two batters she faced to end the game and secure another Colonels victory by a score of 9-6.
Newcomb led the Curry offense by going 4-for-4 at the plate, picking up an RBI on the way. Alexis Buckner (Foxborough, Mass., 2-for-5) and Michaela Colleran (East Bridgewater, Mass., 2-for-4) joined the infielder with multi-hit games for the Colonels. Buckner and Colleran each crossed the plate twice, as did Lloyd, who also registered 3 RBI. Carrigan Costello (Wolcott, Conn.) held down the mound for the Colonels and earned the win, surrendering just four earned runs over 6.1 innings, before making way to May, who earned the save. Ruoff (3), Simmons (2), Smith (2), Walters (2), and Marissa Drees (Orchard Park, N.Y., 2) all recorded multiple hits for Nazareth while Walters and Simmons accounted for all six RBI, with three apiece. Maddie Funk (Locke, N.Y.) is saddled with the loss in this one, giving up eight runs over 1.2 innings of work, though just two were earned. Despite the offense being unable to mount a comeback, Smith held the deficit in check with 4.1 innings of relief work, giving up just one run (unearned) to go along with three strikeouts.
Curry will remain in Naples, Fla. for two games tomorrow, drawing the Rochester Institute of Technology at 9 a.m. on field #4 at the North Collier Regional Park before facing Blackburn College at 11 a.m. on field #3. Nazareth also resumes action tomorrow in Naples, matching up with Wilmington College (Ohio) for a 9 a.m. start on field #2. The Golden Flyers will stay put for their second game of the day, an 11 a.m. tilt against Martin Luther College (Minn.).