KISSIMMEE, Fla. — In the final day of their season-opening Florida trip, the St. Joseph's College (Brooklyn) softball team dropped a hard-fought 7-6 decision to Muhlenberg College (9-2) and took an early lead before falling, 6-2, to William Paterson University (1-1), on Saturday afternoon to wrap up their trip with a 1-5 mark.
Game 1: Muhlenberg 7, St. Joseph's 6
Muhlenberg got on the board quickly loading the bases in the bottom of the first setting up a bases-clearing double from Elise Enslin who later scored on a Sarah Schubert home run that pushed the Mules lead to 5-0 after one.
The Bears erupted for six runs in the third to jump on top. A Jessica Mecham (West Jordan, Utah/Copper Hills) double followed by a Jessica Vento (Massapequa, N.Y./Massapequa) single and a Mules miscue loaded up the bases with one out. Alexis Buchanan (Murrieta, Calif,/Murrieta) got the scoring started with a grounder and everyone safe and Ashleigh Hartwig (Santee, Calif./Santee) followed with a two-run double to cut the deficit to 5-3. Vivian Tomovich (San Diego, Calif./Serra) walked to load the bases again and a Muhlenberg error allowed Buchanan to score. Daniela Trani (Staten Island, N.Y./Staten Island) capped off the six-run frame knocking a two-out, two-run single to give the Bears the lead.
Muhlenberg regained the lead in the bottom of the fifth on a Kristina Qualben RBI double that tied the game at 6-all, and later scoring the go-ahead run on a passed ball.
The Bears gained baserunners in the sixth and seventh off singles from Allison Kaspar (Rocky Point, N.Y./Rocky Point) and Buchanan, but couldn't move them to scoring position and the game ending on a double play, the third turned by the Mules in the contest.
Vento finished the game 2-for-4 to lead six different Bears to knock a hit. Trani (1-3) and Hartwig (1-4, 2B) both had two RBI. Mahoney took the loss in the circle striking out four, walking one and allowing seven runs (six earned).
Game 2: William Paterson 6, St. Joseph's 2
The Bears struck first two batters into their first at bat after Vento led off being hit by a pitch, advancing to second on a passed ball, and scoring on a Mahoney opposite-field single in a tough eight-pitch at bat.
St. Joseph's doubled their lead to 2-0 in the fourth when Jessica Mecham led off with a walk, was sacrificed to second and brought home by her sister Jaden Mecham with a full-count, two-out single to center.
William Paterson posted five in the fifth to take the lead for good. The Pioneers loaded the bases and Caitlyn Massaro cleared the bases with a two-out single to move ahead 3-2. The Pioneers knocked three more straight singles to pad their lead to 5-2.
The Bears threatened in the sixth with a leadoff single by Jessica Mecham and a Trani walk to bring the tying run to the plate, but a double play stymied the threat. The Pioneers scored an insurance run in the top of seventh and SJC stranded two in the bottom half unable to get anyone across.
For the Bears
- Freshman Alexis Buchanan batted .500 (9-for-18) over the Florida trip, hitting successfully in all six games.
Next Up for the Bears
The Bears open their schedule in the northeast on Tuesday (Mar. 12) with a non-conference road doubleheader at Rutgers-Newark starting at 5 p.m. Live stats will be available at SJCBears.com.