WORCESTER, Mass. – The Holy Cross Softball team earned its first Patriot League conference victory on Saturday afternoon in the first game of a doubleheader versus Lafayette by a score of 5-4. The Crusaders were unable to take the second game of this four-game series with the Leopards losing by a score of 3-1. Senior Gwen Reimer (Pottsville, Pa.) led the way for the Crusaders going two-for-three in game one with three RBI and a run scored. Sophomore pitcher Julia Barrett (Gardner, Mass.) pitched both games this afternoon and earned her third victory of the season.
After a scoreless first inning, Lafayette got on the board in the top of the second taking advantage of two Holy Cross errors. Carly Feiro reached on an error to lead off the inning and later scored on a throwing error at home plate as Madeline Allen had bunted on the play. Gwen Turner then sent a two-out single up the middle to score a pair and give the Leopards the early 3-0 lead. Lafayette added a fourth run in the top of the third on a RBI single by Melissa Robinson.
The Crusaders responded in the bottom half of the third inning when junior Jenna Legros (Sandy Hook, Conn.) led off with a walk. After a fly out, Reimer laced a triple down the right field line to score Legros all the way from first. Sophomore Kelliner Croushore (Claremont, Calif.) then hit a two-out single to right field to cut the Leopards' lead in half, 4-2. In the bottom of the fourth inning junior Sam Fregenti (Melville, N.Y.) singled to center field and freshman Cassie Girvalo (Putnam Valley, N.Y.) came on to pinch run. Girvalo advanced to second on a ground out and came around to score on a double down the left field line by senior Nicole Ortiz (Whittier, Calif.). Ortiz went to third as Legros reached base on an error and stole second. Reimer then drove both Ortiz and Legros in on a single to left center field to give the Crusaders the final 5-4 advantage.
The defense stepped up for the Crusaders as the Leopards threatened to tie the game in the top of the fifth inning. Stacey Dorn doubled to left center field and advanced to third on a groundout. With two outs, Robinson popped a soft fly ball towards left field and senior short stop Camille Trainor (Worcester, Mass.) made a spectacular diving catch to end the inning and keep the Crusaders ahead. Lafayette advanced a runner to third in the top of the sixth inning with one out, but Barrett was able to get a strike out and ground out to preserve the Holy Cross victory. The Leopards went down in order in the top of the seventh.
Barrett allowed four runs (one earned) on eight hits while striking out four and walking one in seven innings to tally her third win. Leopards' pitcher Melissa Robinson took the loss, allowing six hits and five runs (four earned) in six innings of work, striking out three and walking one.
Fregenti put the Crusaders on the board first in game two with a lead-off home run in the bottom of the second inning. Her third home run of the season landed in the shrubs just beyond the right field fence and was originally called a ground rule double, but the umpires conferred and determined the ball left the ballpark to give Holy Cross the 1-0 advantage.
The Leopards answered in the top of the third inning on back-to-back two-out hits. Amy Gebhardt led off the inning with a single and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt. After a ground out, Parsons singled to left field and Gebhardt beat the throw to the plate from Ortiz to tie the game. The next batter, Lauren Murphy, doubled to the gap in right center to put the Leopards ahead, 2-1.
Lafayette kept the pressure on in the top of the fifth inning hitting back-to-back singles and advancing both runners into scoring position with a sacrifice bunt. Barrett was able to get a strike out and foul fly to sophomore Alex Gustafson (Medford, Mass.) at third to keep the Crusaders in contention. The Leopards added an insurance run in the top of the seventh when Kristen Berger led off with a single, advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt, and scored on a single by Parsons. The Crusaders got out of the inning when Trainor caught a line drive at short stop and doubled off Parsons at first base.
Holy Cross was unable to rally back despite having a runner on second base in both the sixth and seventh innings. Robinson earned the victory, allowing one run and seven hits while striking out six to bring her record to 5-11 on the season. Barrett suffered the loss allowing three runs on eight hits and striking out three to move to 3-8.
The Crusaders (4-20, 1-5 PL) are set to play games three and four of this four-game series with Lafayette (6-19, 1-5 PL) tomorrow, April 8, beginning at 12:00 p.m.