Crusaders Drop 6-5 Heartbreaker To Army In PL Tournament

Camille Trainor

HAMILTON, N.Y. – A five-run sixth inning doomed the No. 3-seeded Holy Cross softball team against the No. 4 seed Army as the team fell in another come-from-behind game, 6-5, at Eaton Street Field in the second round of the Patriot League Tournament. Because of the loss, the Crusaders were eliminated from competition and finish their season with a record of 18-31. The Black Knights move to 28-24 and survive to play another game. Junior Camille Trainor (Worcester, Mass.) led the team at the plate, combining for two hits, including her second home run of the season, and scored two runs.

Junior Gwen Reimer (Pottsville, Pa.) drew an RBI walk in the top of the first, sending senior Caitlin Belanger (Fall River, Mass.) home as the Crusaders took the early 1-0 lead. Sophomore Sam Fregenti (Melville, N.Y.) then belted out her second home run of the tournament in the top of the third, scoring Trainor, who led off the inning with a single, to give Holy Cross a 3-0 lead.

The Black Knights scored once in the bottom of the fourth to make it a 3-1 game, but Trainor then put her team back up by three runs, 4-1, with a home run to left field in the top of the fifth. Holy Cross starting pitcher, freshman Kali Haas (Longmont, Colo.) got the Black Knights down in order in the bottom of the inning to keep the team's three run edge. After a scoreless top of the sixth, Army put together two hits off Haas before Belanger took over on the mound, who gave up a RBI hit before striking out the next batter. With the one out, Army collected two more hits and cleared the bases on a throwing error, going ahead 6-4.

Holy Cross made its own attempt at a comeback in the top of seventh as senior Erin Fleming (Townsend, Mass.) hit a RBI double that scored Reimer, who singled in the previous at-bat. The hit came with two outs as the Crusaders were unable to score again, falling by the final 6-5 score.

Belanger gets charged with the loss and finishes her season with a record of 4-12. Haas pitched five innings, giving up three runs (two earned) on six hits and struck out one.  Army's starter, freshman Haley Pypes, pitched the complete game and earned the win, improving to 16-12 on the year. In all, Holy Cross scored five runs on eight hits, making three errors while the Black Knights combined for six runs on nine hits and were flawless in the field.

The Crusaders have now completed the 2011 season after reaching the Patriot League tournament for the first time in eight years.