HUNTINGDON, Pa. – Juniata College softball struggled to get hits at key times while visiting Carlow University seemed to have a reply for every Juniata rally, as the Eagles dropped a doubleheader to NAIA member Carlow University, 7-5 and 8-5, Monday afternoon at Weaver Park Field.
Juniata (13-10) was stymied by Carlow freshman pitcher Melissa Costantini, who yielded 14 hits over nine-and-two-thirds innings of work over both games but allowed just six runs – only five of which were earned. Costantini picked up the complete game win in the first game of the twinbill.
Meanwhile Carlow touched Juniata starter Stacy Nagy (Millerton, Pa./Troy) for 25 hits in her 14 complete innings of work. Nagy allowed 15 runs against Carlow, including 13 earned runs.
In game one, Carlow cinched the win with two runs in the top of the fifth, breaking open a 5-5 tie. Sam Kemock reached on a lead-off single up the middle, was doubled around to third by Kelly Costantini, and later stole home. Costantini scored on a sac fly to right field by her twin sister Melissa Costantini.
Juniata opened the contest by taking a 3-1 lead after two innings, with two runs crossing in the second. Senior right fielder Nicole Fronczkowski (Wilmington, Del./Mount Pleasant) plated Melissa Moffat (Oceanside, Calif./Oceanside) with a sacrifice fly to left, after Moffat reached on a walk. Kelsey Shutt (Harrisburg, Pa./Central Dauphin) got aboard with a single to left field, and scored on Sarah Eckard's (Hollidaysburg, Pa./Hollidaysburg) mishandled ground ball to third.
The Celtics knotted the game at 3-3 with a pair of runs in the top of the third, including an RBI double by Rachel Blonski. Carlow stretched its lead to 5-3 with two more runs in the fourth, but Juniata answered with two of its own in the bottom half of the inning. Shutt plated one run with a double down the left field line, while a Steph Frith (Pottstown, Pa./Pottsgrove) liner to center field allowed Shutt to score from third later in the frame.
The second game again saw Carlow successfully defend its lead from a Juniata rally, as the Eagles scored three runs in the bottom of the fourth to tie the game at 3-3.
Moffat's ground rule double down the left field line scored Rachel Nagy and Amanda Gerlach, and Caley McCool (Spring Mills, Pa./Penns Valley) sent a single up the middle on the next at bat to plate Moffat.
However the Celtics doubled their score with three runs in the top of the fifth, and added two more in the sixth. Juniata responded with single runs in bottom half of both innings.
Amanda Gerlach had a 3-for-4 effort in game two, finishing the day 5-for-7 with a run and an RBI. Eckard, Rachel Nagy, and McCool collected two hits apiece, while Moffat drove in a pair of runs.
Juniata returns to action on Thursday, April 15, when it travels to Williamsport, Pa., to face Lycoming College.