Seton Hall Athletics
The Seton Hall University softball team will look to bounce back this weekend at the East Carolina Invitational after going winless last weekend at the Campbell/Cartier Classic.
After falling behind 5-2 in the fifth in their last matchup against Central Michigan, the Pirates rallied for two, cutting the deficit to one, before Central Michigan pulled away with runs in the sixth and seventh innings to defeat the Hall 7-4.
Central Michigan jumped out to a 2-0 lead two batters into the game. SHU starter Danielle DeStaso struck out leadoff hitter Lacy Tolfree, but she swung on a wild pitch, reaching first on the play. Chelsea DeLamielleure went on to homer to left, and suddenly it was 2-0.
DeStaso retired the next three, and the Pirates were able to draw even in the bottom half of the frame. Junior Yasmin Harrell singled to left to lead off the rally, stole second, and scored easily as senior Whitney Jones blasted a triple to right center. Harrell, who was named to the Big East Softball Weekly Honor Roll on Monday, led the Pirates offensively on the weekend, hitting .375 with a pair of runs scored and an RBI.
Harrell recorded a base hit in four of Seton Hall's five games last week, which included a pair of multi-hit games. Over the three-day tournament she went 6-of-16 at the plate.
“Jazzy (Harrell) was certainly one of our brighter spots this weekend,” senior Sara Haefeli said. "We definitely had some close, disappointing games but we are ready to bounce back this weekend with some better play to get some wins."
Another bright spot for the Pirates came in the pitching circle, as sophomore Lauren Fischer dealt a gem in the Hall’s first matchup with Central Michigan.
Fischer was impressive, earning the win, scattering seven hits in six innings of work, in addition to issuing just one walk. After giving up three hits but no runs in the bottom of the first inning, she settled in before the game-winning score came in the fourth.
The Hall will once again face high-level competition this weekend, with the likes of Lafayette and Virginia Tech in field along with East Carolina.
"I think this past weekend was a great test for our team,” Haefeli said. “It showed us that we still have of work to do, but we can play with anybody and we are excited to show that this weekend."
Haefeli was named to the first Big East Softball Weekly Honor Roll last week after her tremendous performance in Texas, hitting .529 with a 1.529 slugging percentage, crushing five home runs and two doubles, to drive in 12 runs and score nine times. She and the Pirates hope that type of performance returns this weekend.
"If we keep playing solidly, with great offense and defense combined, good things can only come of it, I am ready to do whatever it takes to win,” Hafeli said.
The Pirates open tournament play on Friday, Feb. 20, against Lafayette at 10 a.m.
Christian Pierre-Louis can be reached at Christian.firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @CPLouis_