KISSIMMEE, Fla. – The Holy Cross softball team opened the 2012 season at the Rebel Spring Games in Kissimmee, Fla. on Sunday with a morning doubleheader against Detroit and Sacred Heart. The Crusaders battled hard in game one against Detroit but were unable to rally and fell by a score of 4-1. In the second game, Sacred Heart took the lead in the bottom of the third inning and scored 10 runs in the fourth to earn a 14-0 victory in five innings.
In game one, the Titans scored two runs in the first inning to take the early 2-0 lead. The Crusaders answered in the bottom of the second when senior Nicole Ortiz (Whittier, Calif.) doubled to left center and sophomore Alex Gustafson (Medford, Mass.) recorded her first RBI of the season with a two-out single to drive in Ortiz. Sophomore Sarah Free (Claremont, Calif.) attempted to tie the game in the bottom of the fourth inning when she drilled a double off the top of the outfield fence, but the Crusaders were unable to bring her around and the score remained 2-1.
After a Detroit leadoff home run in the top of the seventh inning by first baseman Sarah Cupp and a Holy Cross error that allowed pitcher Karyn McCarty to reach, the Crusaders perfectly executed their bunt defense and turned a rare 5-4-7 double play. Gustafson retired Vanessa Garcia at first with second baseman Ashleigh Vargas (Wakefield, Mass.) covering. Vargas then fired over to third base where left fielder Ortiz was waiting to tag out the base runner on the back end. The Titans were able to add another insurance run with two outs in the inning to bring the final score to 4-1.
Sophomore pitcher Julia Barrett (Gardner, Mass.) totaled a complete game facing 30 batters and allowing nine hits, two earned runs and six strikeouts. Her record falls to 0-1. McCarty got the win for the Titans bringing her record to 1-1 on the year. She allowed four hits and one run over seven innings.
In game two, junior Jenna Legros (Sandy Hook, Conn.) took to the circle for her first start of the season. The Crusaders were unable to generate any offense over the first four innings until junior Kat Rosenthal (Boston, Mass.) ended Sacred Heart pitcher Nicole Sidor's no-hitter with two outs in the top of the fifth inning. The Pioneers scored four runs in the third inning and added 10 more in the bottom of the fourth to record the 14-0 victory. Senior Camille Trainor (Worcester, Mass.) saw relief action and freshman Tori Cheske (Thomaston, Conn.) also saw her first career action in the circle. Senior Liz Tsipouras and Sidor each hit a home run to lead the Sacred Heart offense. Legros took the loss falling to 0-1 on the year.
Detroit moved its record to 2-6 on the season while Sacred Heart is now 1-5. The Crusaders (0-2) return to action on Monday, March 5, with games against South Dakota and Indiana State at 3:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m., respectively.