KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – The Holy Cross softball team fell in the final two games of the spring break against College of Charleston and Georgia Southern today at Lee Stadium. The Crusaders dropped game one by a score of 5-2 loss to College of Charleston as senior Kelliner Croushore (Claremont, Calif.) and sophomore Colleen Ahern (Northbrook, Ill.) posted the only runs during the game. The Crusaders fell to the Eagles in a close battle by a score of 3-2 in game two. Holy Cross starts the season with a 1-7 overall record. College of Charleston improves to 13-7 while Georgia Southern moves to 16-5 on the season.
The bats of Holy Cross struck first as Croushore tripled to right center field on a 1-2 pitch count for her second RBI thus far this season. Sarah Kane (Jacksonville, Fla.) got the first inning started by hitting a single to the third base side and eventually crossed the plate. College of Charleston notched the game up 1-1 as Lizzy Vaughn homered to right field.
The Crusaders posted it's second run of the game in the third off of Ahern's bat as she singled up the middle and Emily Krisanda (Oak Hill, Va.) scored the run. The RBI was Ahern's third of the year. Through three played, Holy Cross claimed a tight lead, 2-1.
The Cougars offense came alive in the fourth and fifth innings as the team posted two runs in each to take a 5-2 lead. The starting pitcher for Holy Cross, Julia Barrett, (Gardner, Mass.) was taken out of the game as she threw four and two thirds innings. The fifth inning marked the last time either team posted a run.
Holy Cross had its chances in the sixth and seventh but were only able to muster one hit and left one runner on base.
With the third out coming in the seventh College of Charleston captured its 13th win of the season.
Barrett took the loss (0-3) as she gave up 11 hits, struck out five batters, faced 23 batters and threw 85 pitches in the circle. Junior Tori Cheske (Thomaston, Conn.) came in relief as she pitched two and a third innings giving up two hits and striking out one batter.
The Cougars staring pitcher Samantha Martin earned the win (5-1) giving up six hits, one run and striking out four batters. Martin pitched four full innings in the circle as her pitch count total was up to 63. Valerie Cassell came in relief and earned the save (second) as she threw three innings not giving up a single hit and striking out six batters while throwing 39 pitches.
Georgia Southern's Kourtny Thomas hit a two-run home run to right field to give the Eagles a 2-0 lead in the first inning. Holy Cross tied the game up at 2-2 in the second inning as sophomore Kelsey Christensen (Hastings, Neb.) and senior Sarah Free (Claremont, Calif.) both singled to left field to post the runs. The RBI was Christensen's first and Free's sixth of the season. The Eagles starting pitcher Marla Thompson threw an inning and a third before she was taken out of the game and Sarah Purvis replaced her.
Through four innings it was still tied up at 2-2 as each team only mustered five hits each.
In the fifth Thomas homered for a second time in the game to give Georgia Southern a 3-2 lead. They scored off of two hits, no errors and left one runner on base.
Holy Cross posted two hits in the seventh inning coming from Hailey Mullen (Plainville, Mass.) and Krisanda. The Crusaders had a total of eight hits in the game as they fell to College of Charleston to end the spring break trip in Tennessee.
Sophomore Gennifer Durham (Abbeville, S.C.) took the loss (1-3) as she pitched six innings in the circle giving up eight hits, three runs and striking out four batters. Durham faced 28 batters and threw 78 pitches in the game. She now leads the pitching rotation with a total of 14 strikeouts thus far in 23 and a third innings pitched.
Purvis earned the win (8-2) as she threw five and two thirds of an inning giving up four hits and striking out nine Crusaders in the process. She faced 21 batters and threw a total of 79 pitches.
Holy Cross (1-8) is back on the diamond next weekend as the team travels to Long Island, N.Y. to take part in Stony Brook Invitational from Saturday and Sunday March 15-16. The Crusaders will play Sacred Heart (Saturday at 10:30 a.m./Sunday 2:30 p.m.) and Stony Brook (Saturday 12:30 p.m./Sunday 10:30 a.m.).