CLERMONT, Fla. - The Haverford College softball team continued its hot start to the season as it began its spring break slate with an 8-2 victory over Brandeis University on Sunday morning at Hancock Park. Later in the day the Fords took down Denison University, 5-2, to complete the sweep of non-conference competition.
After the Judges (4-1) responded with two runs in the bottom of the second, the Fords broke the game open with a six-run explosion in the fourth.
Julie Garlick started things off with a single and was immediately brought home by Jill Schnall's first home run of the season. Dayle Comerford continued the Haverford onslaught by smashing a triple with the bases loaded with Fords. Newman, Miwa Wenzel and DiCandilo came home on Comerford's hit that also chased Brandeis starter Nikki Cote (2-1). Freshman Kristin Tatum greeted relief pitcher Melissa Nolan with a sacrifice fly to score Comerford and cap off Haverford's big inning.
The Fords' bats were hot but even hotter was freshman pitcher Sara Tauriello (2-0) in the circle. Tauriello struck out the side in the fourth, sixth and seventh frames as part of a record-breaking 15-strikeout performance.
Tauriello's 15 strikeouts established a new program mark for strikeouts in a single game surpassing the previous record of 10 reached four times by three different players--Claire Fitzgerald (twice in 2012), Lisa Karmel (2010) and Cassandra Searls (2010).
Freshman Emily Winesett (3-0) registered an impressive performance of her own in the second game of the day as she limited Denison, the preseason favorite in the North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC), to just six hits.
Haverford again struck in the first inning with a single from Comerford driving home Wenzel to give the Fords the early lead.
The second inning saw Haverford add three more runs as Wenzel's sacrifice bunt helped bring Garlick home and DiCandilo tripled to right field to plate Newman. Comerford did not let DiCandilo stay on third for long as she followed with an RBI-single.
Schnall increased the Fords' advantage in the third when her single to right field scored Lauren Touey.
The Big Red (1-1) battled back for two runs in the fifth but they would get no closer as Winesett kept Denison's bats silent over the remainder of the contest.
Kelsey Hager (0-1) surrendered 11 hits and five earned runs in a losing effort.
After an off-day tomorrow, Haverford returns to action on Tuesday with a 3 p.m. contest against Franciscan University. The Fords then close out the day with a 7 p.m. game against Hood College.