FORT MYERS, FL – The St. Joseph's College softball team suffered an 11-1 setback in their opener against Fredonia State University, but bounced back with a 4-1 victory over Smith College, kicking off their 2011 campaign at the Gene Cusic Collegiate Classic.
The victory is the first for St. Joseph's in Florida, making their fourth appearance at the Gene Cusic Classic.
St. Joseph's came out sluggish against undefeated Fredonia State (9-0) unable to produce a baserunner their first time through the order. Fredonia jumped out to a 4-0 lead before the Lady Bears put a run up on the board with a two-out single by Alyson Chiaramonte (Staten Island, NY/Moore Catholic) that scored Millicia Malvasio (Brooklyn, NY/Bishop Kearney).
But the Lady Bears bats would manage only two hits off starter Alyssa Brognano, who struck out eight in picking up her third win of the season, and Blue Devils broke the game open in the sixth with a seven run frame that put the game away.
In the nightcap, Smith (1-9) jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the top of the third inning aided by a Lady Bear miscue. The damage could have been worse had it not been for a great defensive play by Lauren Norris (Sunnyside, NY/Long Island City) grabbing a drive to right center.
St. Joseph's still struggled to awaken the bats from the offseason, managing one hit through four innings. In the fifth, the Lady Bears tied the game at 1-1 scrapping together a run on four walks. St. Joseph's then took control of the game behind a pair two-out RBI singles from Malvasio and Megan Moran (Syosset, NY/St. Dominic's) en route to a three run inning that proved to be the final margin.
Chiaramonte earned the win in the circle, allowing one run (unearned) on six hits, striking out three and walking none. At the plate, Chiaramonte finished the twinbill with a pair of RBI.
Malvasio collected two hits, two runs, an RBI and stolen base on the afternoon.
St. Joseph's (1-1) returns to action tomorrow morning with a pair of games against Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (1-5) and Saint Mary's College (Indiana) (5-1). Fans can follow the live stats on www.sjcbears.com when play begins at 11 a.m.