College of St. Joseph's softball team played its first games of the 2018 season this morning in Cocoa Beach, Fla. The Lady Saints fell 10-2 in their first contest against Carlow University. In the second game of the day against defending United State Collegiate Athletic Association (USCAA) National Champion St. Mary of the Woods College, a grand slam by senior captain Shelby Fenton allowed the Lady Saints to tie the game in the top of the fifth inning. The Pomeroys used a strong sixth inning to aid in a 13-8 win over the Saints.
Carlow also competed in last year's USCAA National Tournament and placed third overall on the national stage. The Celtics had 10 hits as a team in their 10-2 victory, and CSJ managed four hits throughout the five-inning game. First-year player Vanessa Quigley accounted for two of the Lady Saints' hits. She singled through the left side of the infield in the third inning and up the middle of the field in the fifth. The latter hit sent senior Ashley Vasas across home plate for the final run of the game.
Quigley's classmate Timell Montgomery also recorded a RBI in the loss. Montgomery sent a single to left field in the bottom of the second and allowed junior Sierra Jaeger to record CSJ's first run of the season. In the fourth inning, McKenzie Ebert tallied a hit when she singled through the left side. The Lady Saints had five errors to Carlow's three.
CSJ stepped up in their second game of the day, as they scored 8 runs on defending USCAA National Champions St. Mary of the Woods College. The Lady Saints found their offensive groove, notching 11 hits against the Pomeroys. After the first four innings, CSJ had accumulated a 6-0 deficit.
Sophomore Kali Drum was walked to kick off the fifth inning. CSJ's next batter struck out but next to step up to the plate was first-year player Arielys Rodriguez. Rodriguez recorded her second single of the game via a ground ball with pace to left field. With Drum on second and Rodriguez on first, and the Lady Saints with two outs, Lena Tirotta singled off a hard ground ball to center field to load the bases. Next to bat was Fenton, who sent a powerful line drive over the fence of left field to record her first home run of the season in stellar fashion and bring the score to 6-4.
CSJ was able to continue their fifth inning momentum when Jaeger got on base after hitting a fly ball to right field. Montgomery advanced Jaeger to third base when she drove a double to right field. Jenna Crowley recorded an RBI on her first hit of the game when she singled to center field and allowed Jaeger to score. Montgomery advanced to third base in the process, and on the Pomeroys' throw sped across home plate to tie the game at six.
St. Mary of the Woods tallied two runs in the bottom of the fifth to regain the lead, 8-6. Jacklyn McClain hit a double to get on base, and was able to advance to third when Kindra Gingerich flied out to right field. Next, Hollie Jones singled to left field to score McClain. Jones used her speed to get to third base after an error in CSJ's outfield. She then stole home to score a run for the Pomeroys.
Vasas recorded CSJ's only hit of the sixth inning when she connected and sent a fly ball to center field. St. Mary of the Woods went off for five runs in the bottom of the sixth to bring their scoring total to 13. In the top of the seventh, Jaeger reached first on a fielder's choice. Montgomery then reached base on an error by the Pomeroys' third baseman and sent Jaeger to second base. Crowley stepped up to the plate and recorded her second RBI of the game when her single allowed Jaeger to cross home. Montgomery advanced to third base. Next, Drum reached base on an error and Montgomery scored what would prove to be the last run of the game, capping the hard-fought contest at 13-8.
Quigley, Rodriguez and Crowley finished with two hits apiece and Montgomery recorded a double. Fenton led the way with four RBIs off her grand slam homer and Crowley was close behind with three RBIs on the game. CSJ had five errors on the game to the Pomeroys' two.
The Lady Saints have one night's rest before a rematch against St. Mary of the Woods on Friday, March 9 at 8:30 a.m. At 11:30 a.m., CSJ faces Martin Luther College.