Clermont, Fla. - March 16, 2014 - The Springfield College softball team opened the 2014 season with back-to-back wins over Wesleyan and Fredonia State in Clermont, Florida on Sunday.
The Pride opened the day with a 9-1 win over Wesleyan in six innings, then followed it up with a 6-0 shutout of Fredonia State.
Springfield 9, Wesleyan 1 (6 innings):
Springfield got things rolling in the second inning, jumping out to a 2-0 lead. With two outs in the inning, Elizabeth Joseph (Stamford, Conn.) scored on a single from Ally Rivelli (North Kingstown, R.I.) to get the Pride on the board. In the next at-bat, Christina Leader's (Yorktown Heights, N.Y.) single to third base scored Ashley Marino (Harrison, N.Y.) to make it a 2-0 game.
The score remained 2-0 until the Pride opened it up with five runs in the fifth. Marino hit a leadoff triple, but two quick outs followed. With two out and one on, Melissa Nelson (Milford, Conn.) reached on an error by the Wesleyan shortstop and Marino scored to make it a 3-0 game. Brielle Engelbrecht (Granby, Mass.) hit Nelson home on a triple to right field to push the lead to four. The Pride took advantage of Wesleyan miscues in the inning, as Engelbrecht scored on a passed ball to make it 5-0. In the next at bat, a dropped fly ball by the left fielder allowed Johanna Burke (Oxford, Mass.) to reach and Jenna Webb (Harrison, N.Y.) to score (6-0). Another passed ball advanced Burke to third and the junior scored on a wild pitch to make it a 7-0 game after five innings.
Wesleyan strung together a pair of hits to start the sixth inning and scored its only run on a ground ball out to Marino to make it 7-1.
Springfield ended the game with two runs in the bottom of the sixth on RBI singles from Leader and Rivelli.
Marino earned her first win of the season, allowing five hits and one run over six innings. The senior struck out four and walked two.
Leader was tremendous in the season-opener, going 3-for-4 with two RBIs. Nelson also had a multi-hit game, going 2-for-4 with an RBI.
Springfield 6, Fredonia State 0:
The game was scoreless until the Pride offense exploded in the sixth inning, posting five runs. First-year Tasha Polana (Orange, Mass.) got things started with a bases loaded pinch hit triple to right center with one out in the inning, putting Springfield up 3-0. Leader followed that up with a triple to score Polana, giving the Pride a 4-0 cushion. A sacrifice fly from Nelson scored Leader and the Pride came out of the sixth with a 5-0 lead.
Springfield added an insurance run in the seventh inning, as Burke scored after an error by the Fredonia State pitcher.
Jennifer Joseph (Stamford, Conn.) pitched a gem to earn her first win of the season. The senior allowed seven hits over seven innings and tallied 10 strikeouts and no walks in the shutout.
Leader and Rivelli each went 2-for-3 while Webb and Caitie Holik (South Windsor, Conn.) each hit 2-for-4 in the game.
Springfield will play a total of 10 games in Florida this week, continuing on Monday with a double-header against Eastern Connecticut State University at 9:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m.