SPRINGFIELD, Mass. - April 15, 2008 -- Samantha Rhodes pitched a complete-game victory in game #1, and then pitched the final two innings of game #2 to collect the hold, and lead the Springfield College softball team to a pair of wins, 6-2 and 6-3, over Rensselaer in non-conference action this afternoon at sunny Potter Field.
With the wins, Springfield is now 19-13 overall, and has won 10 of its last 12. RPI, meanwhile, falls to 19-5.
In game #1, most of Springfield's damage came in the very first inning when it scored five runs on six hits, and a total of 10 players batted. After Rhodes pitched a 1-2-3 top of the first, senior 2B Denise Fumicello (Brockton, Mass.) led off with a double. Junior CF Angie Atkins (East Haddam, Conn.) then bunt singled her over to third, and stole second. One out later, sophomore catcher Michelle Wlosek (Nutley, N.J.) doubled home the first two runs. Junior DP Danielle Spiro (South Windsor, Conn.) then singled home the third run. Later in the inning, sophomore RF Caitlin Corry (Seekonk, Mass.) singled (her first hit of the season) knocking in two more runs. That proved to be the undoing of RPI starting pitcher Michelle Bianchetti (Highland Mills, N.Y.), who lasted just 2/3 of an inning. Freshman Felicia Bua (Gilford, N.H.) then pitched the rest of the way for the Red Hawks.
RPI cut the margin to 5-1 in the third on a hit batter, a sacrifice, an error, and a single by freshman 1B Jen Bach (Lansdale, Pa.). It became 5-2 in the fourth on a leadoff solo home run by senior catcher Beth Gargon (East Hampton, Conn.).
Springfield added an insurance run in the fifth on a hit batter, a single by Corry, and a pinch-hit double by freshman Amanda Novak (Cos Cob, Conn.).
The Pride finished up with 11 hits, while RPI managed five hits. Rhodes gave up two runs, one of which was earned, in seven innings. She struck out five and walked one, also hitting two batters. For RPI, Bua gave up six hits and just one run (earned) in 5 1/3 innings of relief. She struck out six and walked one. Atkins, Wlosek, and Corry each had two hits for the Pride. Gargon's home run was the only extra base hit for the Red Hawks in game #1.
In game #2, Springfield again struck fairly early. On the mound for the Pride was freshman righthander Sarah Pongratz (Winchester, Mass.), who would pitch tthe first five innings, and ultimately pick up the win. In the bottom of the first, Springfield coaxed four walks off RPI junior Michelle Street (E. Syracuse, N.Y.), the last of which was given to sophomore shortstop Jaimie Moran (Manchester, Conn.), who walked with the bases loaded. And SC led, 1-0.
In the bottom of the second, Springfield scored twice more. An error and two more walks loaded the bases before freshman 1B Jessica Hillman (Seymour, Conn.) singled sharply to left with one out, scoring the two runs. And SC led, 3-0.
In the top of the fourth, RPI scored when junior RF Julianne Bass (Costa Mesa, Calif.) socked a solo home run to left, cutting the margin to 3-1.
But Springfield was destined to get three in the bottom of that inning. The first three batters walked, although there was a caught stealing in there. And Street, who walked a total of nine batters in her 3 1/3 innings, was lifted. But Bua was greeted rudely when her first pitch was blasted for a three-run home run to left by Wlosek for what proved to be the biggest hit of the game. It was Wlosek's 6th home run of the season.That made it 6-1, SC.
RPI came back with one in the fifth when freshman 2B Alysa Rochminski (Schenectady, N.Y.) reached on a fielder's choice, then stole second, and came around on a single by junior CF Sara Finkbeiner (Napanoch, N.Y.).
The Red Hawks scored one more in the top of the seventh. Freshman Genevieve Falco (Seaford, N.Y.) led off with a double. Two outs later, Rochminski hit a long fly ball to rightcenter field which was dropped for a three-base error by the center fielder, scoring Falco. But Rhodes, who had come on in the top of the sixth, then struck out Finkbeiner to end the contest.
With the win, Pongratz is now 3-3 on the season. She gave up four hits and two runs, only one of which was earned. She struck out one and walked one in her five innings. Rhodes gave up one unearned run on one hit in her two innings of relief. She struck out two and walked none.
Springfield is now off until Friday, when it will host Babson in an important New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference doubleheader, starting at 3:30 pm.