SURFSIDE BEACH, S.C. – The Juniata College softball team closed out its 2010 spring break slate with a 9-1, five-inning victory over Wentworth Institute of Technology, Thursday morning at the H. Blue Huckabee Recreation Complex in Surfside Beach, S.C.
Juniata's scheduled second game of the day against LaRoche College was called due to rain in the bottom of the first inning, with the Eagles leading 2-0.
Juniata (6-1) hammered Wentworth starter Amanda Schiffer for 13 hits, however it was the Leopards' defensive miscues that were their undoing. Of the nine runs yielded by Schiffer, three were unearned on Wentworth's four errors.
For the third game in a row, the Eagles put up multiple runs in the first inning, then shut down Wentworth with pitching and defense.
After Sarah Eckard's (Hollidaysburg, Pa./Hollidaysburg) leadoff single in the first inning, Allison Gerlach's (Mesa, Ariz./Marcos de Niza) sacrifice bunt was mishandled giving the Eagles two aboard. Amanda Gerlach (Mesa, Ariz./Marcos de Niza) sacrificed both runners around, and Rachel Nagy (Nazareth, Pa./Nazareth) plated both runners with a double to center field.
Caley McCool (Spring Mills, Pa./Penns Valley) reached on a single, and Kelsey Shutt (Harrisburg, Pa./Central Dauphin) plated Nagy and McCool with a long double to straightaway center. Starting pitcher Alyssa Erb (Hollidaysburg, Pa./Hollidaysburg) laced a single to left, scoring Shutt for the fifth Juniata run of the inning – only four of which were earned.
Nagy and McCool each stroked RBI singles in the second, and Amanda Gerlach plated another run in the fourth with a single to right center.
Erb belted a double that landed at the base of the fence in dead center field, scoring Denalyn Spratt (Haddon Heights, N.J./Haddon Heights) who reached on a one-out single. Spratt entered the game in the top of the fourth as a defensive replacement for McCool at second base.
Wentworth's only run came in the fourth, as the Leopards took advantage of a pair of hits and two Juniata errors. Jen Giudice opened the frame with a single, and advanced to second on an error. Another error Giudice advanced on a passed ball, and later scored on an error at short.
Erb struck out eight Wentworth batters in her five complete innings of work while scattering three hits, improving her record to 3-1.
Five different Juniata players finished with two hits: Eckard, Nagy, McCool, Shutt, and Erb. Nagy finished with three RBI, while Shutt and Erb had two apiece. Amanda Gerlach and McCool each plated one run.
Juniata resumes play on Tuesday, March 16, when the Eagles travel to Annville, Pa., to face Lebanon Valley College. First pitch of game one is slated for 3:00 p.m.
NOTES: Stacy Nagy did not play in game one to allow her to rest a strained quad muscle; she did start in the circle of game two against LaRoche, which was called in the first inning... she finished Juniata's seven-game spring break trip as the Eagles' top hitter with a .625 average including four extra-base hits... Caley McCool posted a .545 average in Surfside Beach with 12 hits, and did not commit an error in 17 chances... Sarah Eckard matched McCool for the team high with 12 hits while batting .500... Rachel Nagy hit .455 and is Juniata's RBI leader with 10... Kelsey Shutt (.478) and Amanda Gerlach (.421) round out the list of top Juniata hitters after spring break... Stacy Nagy and Alyssa Erb have combined to post a 1.37 ERA and allowed opponents to hit just .173 against them.