KISSIMMEE, Fla. – The Holy Cross Softball team faced off against Pennsylvania and Tennessee-Martin on Monday at the Rebel Spring Games in Florida. The Crusaders were unable to take the lead in either contest of the morning doubleheader and fell to Pennsylvania, 12-4, in game one and 5-0 to Tennessee-Martin in game two.
Pennsylvania took an early 3-0 lead in the second inning after two Holy Cross errors and a double by Vanessa Weaver that drove in two. After a scoreless bottom of the second from the Crusaders, Pennsylvania batted around in the top of the third inning, scoring seven more runs to take a 10-0 lead. The Crusaders finally got on the scoreboard in the bottom of the inning off a solo home run by junior Alex Gustafson (Medford, Mass.), making the score 10-1 through three frames.
In the top of the fourth inning, Pennsylvania added two more runs off freshman pitcher Mary Stuckey (Dumont, N.J.), who came on in relief of junior starting pitcher Julia Barrett (Gardner, Mass.). Korinne Raby hit a two-run home run to extend Pennsylvania's lead to 11, 12-1. The Crusaders answered back in the bottom half of the inning as junior Kelliner Croushore (Claremont, Calif.) led off with a single and later scored on Quakers error.
Stuckey shut Pennsylvania out in the top of the fifth inning as the Crusaders never gave up in the game. Freshman Emily Jarvis (Hopkington, Mass.) led off the bottom of the fifth with her second career home run and fellow classmate Colleen Ahern (Northbrook, Ill.) followed suit with a two-out homer of her own for her first career long ball. The late offensive surge would not be enough, however, as the Crusaders fell to the Quakers, 12-4.
Barrett suffered the loss, pitching three innings while giving up 10 runs (four earned) and striking out one. Stuckey pitched two complete innings and gave up two runs on two hits. Lauren Li recorded the win for Pennsylvania, allowing one run on three hits. Amanda Gisonni pitched two innings and gave up three runs on three hits while striking out two and walking one.
Tennessee-Martin got out to a 1-0 lead as Kenzi Tate hit a double to right field that brought home Leah Taylor and put the Skyhawks on the scoreboard in the bottom of the first inning. In the second inning, the Tennessee-Martin added two more runs and advanced its lead to 3-0.
Holy Cross continued to battle offensively as senior Kat Rosenthal (Boston, Mass.) got her first hit of the season in the bottom of the third inning. Freshman Hailey Mullen (Plainville, Mass.) posted her first career hit in the top of the fourth inning and wasted no time swiping second base for her first career steal, but the Crusaders were unable bring her around and get on the scoreboard. Tennessee-Martin added two more runs in the bottom of the fourth, with hits from Kayla Wade and Taylor, extending its lead to 5-0.
Holy Cross had three hits in the final two innings, including the first hit of 2013 for sophomore Ashleigh Vargas (Wakefield, Mass.) and a double by Croushore, but no Crusader was able to advance beyond second base and the Crusaders suffered a 5-0 loss.
Freshman Gennifer Durham (Abbeville, S.C.) took the loss to move to 0-1 on the season, going five innings while allowing five runs (three earned) on six hits and striking out two. Senior Jenna Legros (Sandy Hook, Conn.) came on in relief to pitch one inning, striking out one batter. Tate (6-1) received the win after going seven complete innings and striking out 10 batters.
The Crusaders (0-4) return to action at the Rebel Spring Games on Wednesday, March 6, with a doubleheader verse St. Francis (Pa.) and Sacred Heart beginning at 11:00 a.m.