The Seton Hall softball team lost in both games on Friday to start the five-game Under Armour Showcase, falling first to the South Dakota State Jackrabbits 6-1, and then to the Loyola University of Chicago Ramblers, 12-0, in Clearwater, Fla.
Madison Strunk entered the first game with a 3-2 record, looking to make amends for a loss on March 7, in which the Pirates were victims of the mercy rule against South Florida. However, things got off to a rough start, as a passed ball let home the first Jackrabbit run in the top of the first inning.
The Pirates evened the score at 1-1 in the bottom of the third inning. The run was scored by Brianna Wallace, who reached base on an error and was able to steal third standing up, her team-leading eighth steal of the season. With Wallace on third, Sara Foster delivered the RBI-single that tied the game. The run was the only score the Pirates could provide against Jackrabbit starter Madison Hope, and proved to be the only run they could tally all day.
Hope – who improved her record to 6-1 with the victory – was dominant. In what was a complete-game effort, she allowed only four hits and one walk, while striking out two Pirates.
The walls began to cave in on Seton Hall in the fifth inning. Chrisa Head came in to relieve Strunk in the fifth inning, and faced instant trouble. First, a Mallory McQuistan double drove home Ali Herdliska to put the Jackrabbits up 2-1, and then, Baily Janssen singled home Lyndsey Crist to make it 3-1. A run in the sixth and two in the seventh brought the score to 6-1.
Results did not get better for the Pirates in the later session, as they fell to Loyola Chicago, 12-0, in five innings.
Mo Sabel started for the Pirates in their second game, but was unable to escape the first inning. She allowed seven runs; however, only one of those runs were earned. An error by Emily Supercynski at a critical moment opened up the flood gates for the Ramblers, with the Pirates surrendering their highest total in a single inning all season.
Things did not improve for the Pirates, as the pitching tandem of Head and Alannah Basil allowed three more runs to make the score 12-0 in favor of the Ramblers. This would be the final score, with the Ramblers activating the run-ahead rule just as South Florida did two days earlier.
After their pair of losses to open the weekend, Seton Hall fall to an 11-10 record, having now dropped three in a row. They will play another double-header on Saturday, with Northern Kentucky and Lehigh the opponents. First pitch against Northern Kentucky is scheduled for 9 a.m.
Dalton Allison can be reached at Dalton.email@example.com or on Twitter @DaltonAllison4.