Seton Hall softball 3-1 in Dawg Pound Classic
The Seton Hall softball team finished the UMBC Dawg Pound Classic with a 3-1 record after a 6-2 victory over Niagara on March 12. The Pirates improved to 8-12 on the season.
“We’ve recovered a little bit from injuries and being sick,” head coach Ray Vander May said. “We faced every team’s number one pitcher. We’re overcoming some major adversity.”
Senior Brittany Schillizzi helped the Pirates jump out to an early 1-0 lead after a RBI single in the first inning. The Pirates led until the top of the fourth when Jennifer Hare hit a solo homerun for the Purple Eagles.
Seton Hall regrouped and regained the lead in the fifth when the Pirates loaded the bases for sophomore Kirby Groves’ go ahead single on her 20th birthday. The Pirates tacked on another run after senior Michelle Reed popped up to the centerfielder, who dropped the ball, allowing Schillizi to score from third.
The Hall would put the game out of reach in the sixth when Schillizzi pulled a three-run homer over the left field fence.
Sophomore Brooke Tull earned the victory (2-3), pitching her first career complete game while giving up two earned runs on five hits.
“Brooke Tull has been getting better each start,” Vander May said.
In the first game of the double-header Seton Hall came from behind three times to beat Canisius, 9-6.
The Pirates fell behind in the top of the first inning, 4-0, after committing two error, yet answered in the bottom of the inning after Reed popped a triple over the right fielder’s head to clear the bases. Junior Marissa Muoio followed with a game tying RBI infield single.
Muoio is currently on a four game hit streak after not recording a hit in the 2010 season. “Muoio has been gigantic,” Vander May said.
A RBI single in the fourth by Paige Freiberger gave the Griffs a 5-4 lead but the Pirates answered immediately. Sophomore Cashel Gaffey tied the game with a solo homer, the first of her career.
Seton Hall surrendered the lead back to Canisius in the fifth inning without giving up a hit. Emily Helbig drew a leadoff walk and advanced to second after a wild pitch and third on a passed ball. Pinch-runner Lauryn Chris scored after another wild pitch, giving the Griffs a 6-5 advantage.
With two outs and the bases loaded in the bottom half of the fifth inning, Seton Hall made its third comeback.
Freshman Maria DeLuca hit a RBI single to left field, giving the Pirates their first lead of the game, 7-6. Senior
Nalin Bennet notched a two run double to extend the Seton Hall lead to three and put the game out of reach.
“We scored a lot of runs with two outs,” Vander May said. “We haven’t had that kind of output this season. We’re getting some confidence in our bats.”
Sophomore Hannah Hill picked up the win (2-8), pitching six innings of relief, allowing two runs on six hits.
The Pirates split their first two games of the Dawg Pound Classic, defeating Coppin State 3-1, while falling 8-2 against Drexel.
Seton Hall took an early 2-0 lead against Coppin State in the top of the second after junior Nicole Loewenstein doubled off the right field wall.
The Pirates tacked on another run in the fourth after senior Jamie Gates singled and came all the way around to score on a single up the middle by junior Laura Canulli. Gates was headed to third on Canulli’s single and came around to score after the Eagle’s center fielder misplayed the ball.
Coppin State scored their only run after back to back triples in the bottom of the fifth, however freshman Jen Metzger fended the Eagles off for the win.
Metzger (4-1) pitched a complete game allowing only one run on five hits. She struck out a career best seven batters.
In the back half of the double-header, Drexel took the lead in the first inning on a wild pitch scoring a runner from third base. Two Seton Hall errors brought in four more runs for the Dragons in the third inning. Drexel added insurance runs in the fourth, fifth and seventh innings.
The Pirates came back in the bottom of the seventh, loading the bases for Loewenstein. She delivered a two run single to break up the shutout, but the Pirates could not muster up any more offense to complete the comeback.
“We hope we can take the momentum into our own tournament,” Vander May said. “We could come out of this weekend above .500.”
The Pirates play their first home games of the season on Friday, March 18, when they host Sacred Heart and Manhattan in the first annual Seton Hall Pirate Classic.
Colin Rajala can be reached at email@example.com.