Strunk’s pitching helps Pirates sneak past Buffalo

On the back of starting pitcher Madison Strunk, the Seton Hall softball team came away with a victory on Sunday, 2-0, against the Buffalo Bulls in Madeira Beach, Fla.

After pitching three scoreless innings in the Pirates 4-3 win over Central Arkansas the night before, Strunk was not fazed by the tight, low-scoring affair, as she turned in seven shutout innings.

Photo via SHU Athletics

Seton Hall’s offense started quickly, as the Pirates got a run across in the first inning, with the first two batters. The run came via a Payton Beaver double, as her hit scored leadoff hitter Janae Barracato, who had smacked a double of her own just before.

It took until the fourth inning for Strunk to allow a hit, and that was when Anna Aguon doubled with one out. Strunk did not let the hit rattle her though, and she finished off the next two batters to retire the side.

As the game moved forward and the Pirates still could not manufacturer more insurance runs, Buffalo began to threaten. Following a fifth and sixth inning in with no Pirate could reach base, Buffalo was again able to get its leadoff hitter on in the sixth inning. As she had done all game, though, Strunk stayed strong and did not allow the runner to score.

Baylee Allender provided the insurance run for the Pirates in the seventh inning, singling home a run to increase the Pirates’ advantage to 2-0.

Down to its final out, Buffalo tried to build a rally in the bottom half of the seventh inning. After two runners were able to reach base, Alissa Karjel stepped up to the plate with a chance to turn the tables and help the Bulls walk-off. Karjel did line a ball to deep-center, but it was tracked down by Barracato, and caught to end the game.

Seton Hall finished the game with seven hits, including two doubles from Barracato. The victory over Buffalo concluded a weekend in Madeira Beach that saw the Pirates finish with a 4-1 record in the EMU Madeira Beach Invitational. Seton Hall’s overall record on the season improves to 11-7 with the win.

The Pirates will leave Madeira Beach, but not Florida, as the side will return to action on Wednesday, March 7, against the University of South Florida, in Tampa, Florida. Following that, they will remain in Tampa for another five-game weekend slate in the Under Armour Showcase.

Dalton Allison can be reached at or on Twitter @DaltonAllison4.