WORCESTER, Mass. – Timely hitting turned into big innings for the Hartford softball team, as the Hawks swept Holy Cross in doubleheader action at Freshman Field on Wednesday afternoon. In the first game of the series, Hartford defeated the Crusaders 11-8 and then came from behind in game two to win, 7-3. With the two losses, Holy Cross falls to 4-14 overall, while Hartford picks up two wins, improving to 10-6
After one and a half innings, Hartford had a commanding 5-0 lead. The Crusaders battled back with three runs in the bottom of the second, led by a lead off single to center field by senior Mandy Correale (Peabody, Mass.) to score Holy Cross’ first run of the day. Holy Cross shut down the Hawks in the top of the inning and then put up two more runs to tie the game 5-5. The Hawks roared back to life in the fourth inning, scoring five runs on four hits and then scored again in the fifth to take an 11-5 lead. Holy Cross chipped away with a run in the bottom of the sixth and then put two across the plate in the bottom of the seventh, but couldn’t come any closer, falling 11-8.
Senior Amanda Audette (New Bedford, Mass.) started in the circle for Holy Cross. Audette pitched three and one third innings, allowing eight earned runs on five hits. Junior Katie Alexander (Tigard, Ore.) closed out the game, pitching three and two thirds innings and allowing two earned runs on six hits. Holy Cross out-hit the Hawks 12-11 and committed just one error while Hartford made four.
The Crusaders wasted no time taking the lead in game two. Freshman Sam Fregenti (Melville, N.Y.) led off the second inning with a double to center field and then scored on a single to right field by sophomore Nicole Ortiz (Whittier, Calif.). Ortiz scored on a double to left center by senior Courtney Nealon (Rochester, N.Y.). The Crusaders took a 3-0 lead in the third inning when junior Caitlin Belanger (Fall River, Mass.) doubled to lead off the inning. Hartford sprung to life in the fifth inning, tying the game 3-3. The Hawks then scored four runs on two hits in the top of the seventh to win the game 7-3.
Belanger pitched the complete game for the Crusaders, allowing seven runs on ten hits and striking out eight batters. Hartford out-hit the Crusaders 10-8, while the Crusaders committed the only error of the game.
Holy Cross kicks off Patriot League action this weekend when it travels to Bucknell for a four-game series with the Bison. Game time is set for 12:00 p.m. both days.