WEST HARTFORD, Conn. – A seven run, eight hit second inning, gave the Hartford Hawks the offensive full it needed to surge past the Holy Cross softball team Thursday evening in West Hartford, Conn. The Crusaders suffered a 12-7 loss to end the 2011 regular season with an overall record of 18-29, while Hartford improves to 8-33.
Hartford scored the first run of the game in the bottom of the first inning, before taking an eight run lead in the bottom of the second after scoring seven runs on eight singles. Holy Cross marked its first runs of the game in the top of the third after senior Caitlin Belanger (Fall River, Mass.) walked, stole second and scored on a double by senior Keeley Seniuk (Phoenix, Ariz.). Seniuk scored the Crusaders' second run of the inning on a single by senior Erin Fleming (Townsend, Mass.).
The Hawks took a 10-2 lead in the bottom of the inning, but Holy Cross rebounded for four in the top of the fourth. Junior Nicole Ortiz (Whittier, Calif.) led off the inning with a single, was followed by sophomore Kat Rosenthal (Boston, Mass.) with a single before the bases were loaded on a single by freshman Sarah Free (Claremont, Calif.). Belanger ripped a three-run double to score Ortiz, Rosenthal and Free before being thrown out in-between home and third. A RBI single by Fleming scored Holy Cross' fourth run of the inning to bring the score within four, 10-6. In the bottom of the fifth, Hartford hit a two-run home run to score its 11th and 12th runs of the game. Holy Cross was able to score one more time in the seventh inning, making the final score 12-7 in favor of the Hawks.
Freshman pitcher Kali Haas (Longmont, Colo.) pitched the first two innings, allowing eight runs on 10 hits and striking out two batters. Junior Camille Trainor (Worcester, Mass.) pitched the middle two innings, allowing three runs on five hits and striking out two. Belanger pitched the final two innings, allowing one run on two hits and striking out two. Hartford scored 12 runs on 17 hits and committed one error, while Holy Cross scored seven runs on 12 hits and had one error.
Holy Cross returns home to Worcester to prepare for the Patriot League Tournament on Thursday, May 12 in Hamilton, N.Y. The Crusaders will take the field against Lehigh at 2:00 p.m. in the opening game of the tournament.