CLERMONT, Fla. – The Bridgewater State University softball team wrapped up its ten-game Florida swing on Thursday at The Spring Games in Clermont, Florida.
The Bears (2-8) dropped the opener to Wesleyan University, 4-3, and lost game two to Simpson College, 4-2.
The Bears jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the top of the first. Junior Samantha Mulcahy (Taunton, Mass.) walked to lead off the frame, moved second on a ground out, stole third, and scored on sophomore Alexandra Ruprecht's (Kingston, Mass.) RBI bunt single.
The Cardinals responded with a pair of runs in the bottom of the first. Three straight singles by sophomore Lauren Gaffney-Gomez (Burnaby, B.C.), senior Olivia Gorman (Lower Gwynedd, Pa.) and sophomore Marina Williams (San Dimas, Calif.) to start the inning loaded the bases with nobody out. The Bears' induced a 1-2-3 double play groundout, but Gorman was able to race home all the way from second with some heads-up base running. Williams then gave the Cardinals a 2-1 lead when she scored on a passed ball.
Bridgewater tied it in the top of the second with an unearned run on freshman Emma Healy's (Plymouth, Mass.) bases loaded sacrifice fly. The Bears then jumped ahead, 3-2, in the top of the third as they took advantage of another Wesleyan miscue. Base hits by junior Meghan Navarro (Taunton, Mass.) and freshman Megan Sharon (East Longmeadow, Mass.) put runners on first and second with two outs. Senior Kacie Carvalho (Fairhaven, Mass.) then reached on an infield single to short and Navarro scampered home from third when the ball was mishandled.
Trailing by a run in the bottom of the fourth, sophomore Brenna Monroe (Southwick, Mass.) started a potential Cardinal rally with a lead-off double. Freshman Sophia Sciarappa (Charlton, Mass.) followed with a base hit to center, but junior pinch runner Jo Jo Diaz (West New York, N.J.) was gunned out at the play on a strong throw by Navarro. A Danielle Rinaldi (Ewing, N.J.) walk and a single by freshman Courtney Collins-Pisano (Westwood, Mass.) loaded the bases with just the one out. A fielder's choice ground out cut down Sciarappa at home as the Bears looked like they might get out of the inning unscathed. Freshman Alexis Campbell (South Easton, Mass.), however, worked a walk to bring home Rinaldi with the game-tying run.
The score remained knotted at 3-3 until the bottom of the seventh inning. Junior Hayley Lipson (East Brunswick, N.J.) reached on a two-base error to start the inning and moved to third on a sacrifice bunt. Gaffney-Gomez then won the game with a walk-off hit down the left field line.
Gaffney-Gomez picked up the win in relief for Wesleyan as she tossed three scoreless innings allowing just one hit with two walks and three strikeouts. Rinaldi worked the first four innings for the Cardinals giving up three runs (two earned) on seven hits with three walks and a strikeout.
Gaffney Gomez went 2-for-4 at the plate with the game-winning RBI to highlight the Wesleyan offense. Sciarappa (2-for-3) also finished with multiple hits for the Cardinals (1-2).
Freshman Kelley Reichert (Milford, Mass.) went the distance in the setback for the Bears. Reichert (0-3) gave up four runs (three earned) on eight hits with two walks and two strikeouts.
Sharon (2-for-4, 2B, run) and senior Jenny Heller (Taunton, Mass.) paced Bridgewater's eight-hit attack with two hits apiece. Heller singled twice in four at bats. The Bears were also issued five walks in the game to go along with the eight hits, but stranded 12 runners on base.
Simpson jumped out to a 2-0 lead with a pair of RBI ground outs in the bottom of the first inning.
Bridgewater answered in the top half of the second on a two-out, bases loaded, two-run single off the bat of Mulcahy.
The Storm broke a 2-2 tie with a pair of runs in the fourth. With runners on second and third with one out, senior Kayla Reusche (Waverly, Iowa) reached on an infield hit to plate freshman Liv Erickson (Cedar Rapids, Iowa). After a stolen base, sophomore Amron Born (Norwalk, Iowa) brought home freshman Kat Velasquez (San Antonio, Texas) with an RBI ground out.
Reusche went 2-for-3 with a stolen base and an RBI to lead the way offensively for the Storm (6-5).
Five Simpson pitchers combined to allow two runs on seven hits with a walk and three strikeouts. Junior Emily Schilke (Lincoln, Neb.) tossed a perfect fourth inning to pick up the win in relief. Sophomore Lizzy Adams (Norwalk, Iowa) worked around a hit and a walk in the seventh to record her first save of the season.
Sophomore Natalie Sorrenti (Bridgewater, Mass.) pitched well in the losing effort for the Bears. Sorrenti (2-2) gave up four runs (three earned) on eight hits with no walks and three strikeouts.
Grindle posted a team-leading .412 (12-29) batting average with a home run, a double, six walks and five RBI during the ten-game trip. She also posted a .514 on base percentage. Heller led the team in hits with 14 as she batted .412 (14-34) with a home run, three doubles, three RBI and four runs scored. Mulcahy batted .387 (12-31) with three stolen bases, three RBI, four runs scored and a .472 on base percentage.
Sorrenti recorded both of the Bears' wins during the trip as she went 2-2 in the circle with 18 strikeouts and a 2.49 earned run average in 25 1/3 innings of work.
The Bears return to action next Tuesday afternoon when they travel to Wheaton College for a non-conference twinbill with the Lyons starting at 3:00 PM.