WORCESTER, Mass. – Senior Caitlin Belanger (Fall River, Mass.) recorded four hits, a save and a win to lead the Holy Cross softball team to a pair of victories over Bucknell Sunday afternoon. Belanger earned a save in Holy Cross' 4-2 win in game one and then pitched a complete game shutout, as the Crusaders won by a score of 2-0 in the finale. With the sweep, Holy Cross improves to 14-19 overall (8-4 Patriot League), while the Bison fall to 11-29 overall (3-9 Patriot League).
Belanger led off the day's action with a triple into the right field corner in the first inning of game one before scoring on ground ball by junior Gwen Reimer (Pottsville, Pa.) to give Holy Cross an early 1-0 lead. The Crusaders held the Bison scoreless in the bottom of the inning and then put two more runs up in the second. A two-out double by Belanger in the second inning scored senior Tiffany Medwid (Imperial, Pa.) and junior Camille Trainor (Worcester, Mass.) to put the Crusaders up 3-0. Holy Cross took a four run lead in the third inning after a triple by senior Erin Fleming (Townsend, Mass.) scored junior Sam Fregenti (Melville, N.Y.) from first base.
The Bison cut into Holy Cross' lead in the bottom of the third when back-to-back singles by Elyse Colmenero and Lauren Fry scored a run. A double by Mary Horton in the sixth inning gave Bucknell its second run of the game, but the Crusaders' defense held strong, ending the game with a 4-2 victory for Holy Cross.
Freshman Kali Haas (Longmont, Colo.) picked up her fifth win of the season after pitching five and two-thirds innings and giving up two runs on eight hits. Belanger pitched the final one and one-third inning, allowing two hits and earning her first save of the season. Bucknell's Bridget Gates pitched all seven innings in the losing effort. Gates allowed four runs, two earned, on six hits.
The first three innings of play were scoreless before a double by Fregenti in the fourth inning led to the first run of the game. Senior Katie Alexander (Tigard, Ore.) pinch ran for Fregenti at second base and was able to advance to third after the Bucknell shortstop mishandled a pop fly by Fleming. With runners on the corners, freshman Alex Gustafson (Medford, Mass.) singled to left field to score Alexander. A single by Medwid loaded the bases and a walk by Belanger scored the second run of the game. Two runs would prove to be all the Crusaders would need, as the defense held Bucknell scoreless for all seven innings.
Belanger earned the complete-game shutout win, pitching all seven innings, striking out three and giving up seven hits. Bucknell's Alex MacLean suffered the loss, pitching seven innings and allowing two runs, one earned, on six hits.
Holy Cross will travel to Siena on Thursday, April 21 before returning to Freshman Field on Saturday, April 23 for a Patriot League doubleheader against Colgate. Prior to the start of Saturday's games, Holy Cross will honor its five seniors with a Senior Day presentation.