EASTON, Pa. – After posting a five inning victory in game one, the Holy Cross softball team earned its second win of the day in 12 innings when junior Gwen Reimer (Pottsville, Pa.) drove in the game winning run with a triple to right center field, scoring freshman Alex Gustafson (Medford, Mass.) from first base. With the pair of wins, the Crusaders improve to 10-12 overall (4-0 Patriot League) while the Leopards fall to 1-24 overall (0-4 Patriot League). With the four victories, Holy Cross earned its first four-game sweep of a Patriot League opponent since the 2003 season when it swept Lafayette in Easton, Pa. The Crusaders' 4-0 Patriot League record is their best start since the 2001 season when they opened up league play with a four-game sweep at Lafayette.
Holy Cross wasted no time putting runs on the board Sunday afternoon as the Crusaders scored two runs in the first inning. Senior Caitlin Belanger (Fall River, Mass.) led off the game with a single to second base and moved all the way to third on a single by Gustafson. Senior Keeley Seniuk (Phoenix, Ariz.) drew a walk to load the bases and sophomore Sam Fregenti (Melville, N.Y.) earned a walk to score the first run of the day. A ground out by Reimer scored the second run of the inning, giving the Crusaders an early two run lead.
Senior Erin Fleming (Townsend, Mass.) led off the second inning with a walk and advanced to third on a single to right center by Belanger. With runners on first and third, the Crusaders executed a successful double steal, with Belanger swiping second and Fleming stealing home to give Holy Cross a 3-0 lead. Belanger then stole third and scored on a RBI single by Seniuk. Holy Cross continued its offensive explosion in the third inning, scoring six runs on seven hits to take a 10-0 lead. Lafayette scored five runs in the fourth inning to cut into the Crusaders' lead, but Holy Cross rallied back in the fifth, scoring three runs on two hits to end the game, 13-5.
Freshman Kali Haas (Longmont, Colo.) earned her fourth win of the season in the shortened game. Haas pitched three and two thirds innings, giving up five runs on five hits. Freshman Julia Barrett (Gardner, Mass.) entered the game in relief for the final one and one third innings, allowing no runs on two hits. Lafayette's Emily Noel and Lauren Hasson combined for time in the loss. Noel pitched three complete innings, allowing seven runs on six hits. Hasson pitched one and two thirds innings, allowing six runs on seven hits.
The Crusaders saw a two run lead disappear as the Leopards tied the game in the seventh to force extra innings. Holy Cross played four and a half extra innings before a triple by Reimer scored the winning run in the bottom of the 12th inning. Holy Cross took an early 2-0 lead in the third inning when Gustafson singled with two outs to spark a rally. Seniuk followed Gustafson with a single before a single by Fregenti scored the first run of the game. Seniuk scored on a single by Reimer to give Holy Cross a 2-0 lead. Lafayette cut into Holy Cross' lead in the sixth inning, scoring an unearned run. The Leopards tied the game, 2-2, in the seventh when a pinch hit single by Stacey Dorn scored the tying run. Holy Cross was unable to score in the bottom of the inning and play continued into the eighth.
Timely hitting proved to be all the Crusaders needed in extra innings. Lafayette got a hit in the ninth, 10th and 11th innings, but was unable to convert hits into runs. The Crusaders' only hits in extra innings came in the 12th when Gustafson led off with a single down the left field line and then, with two outs, Reimer tripled to right center field to win the game, 3-2.
Barrett made the start for the Crusaders with sophomore Jenna Legros (Sandy Hook, Conn.) entering the game in relief and Belanger eventually earning the win. Barrett pitched five complete innings, allowing one run on five hits. Legros pitched one and two thirds innings, giving up one run on one hit. Belanger pitched the final five and one third innings, allowing no runs and four hits. Lafayette's Melissa Robinson pitched all 12 innings, allowing three runs on nine hits.
Holy Cross will return to Worcester for a six-game home stand next week, starting with a pair of games against Bryant on Tuesday, April 5 and ending with a four-game Patriot League series with Army on April 9-10.