Long ball helps Fords earn split with Muhlenberg

Long ball helps Fords earn split with Muhlenberg

HAVERFORD, Pa. - Jill Schnall nailed a two-run home run in the second inning and Jen DiCandilo added another two-run shot in the fourth to help the Haverford College softball team get past visiting Muhlenberg College, 5-1, in the second game of a Centennial Conference doubleheader at Class of '95 Field on Tuesday afternoon. The Mules edged the Fords, 2-0, in a 10-inning battle in Game 1.

Haverford (14-6, 4-2 CC) wasted no time in making life difficult for Muhlenberg's starting pitcher Angie Sisco (5-3) as the hosts put two runners on base in the bottom of the first. Elizabeth Newman began the inning by reaching on an error by third baseman Chelsea Benjamin and Julie Garlick sacrificed her to second. Newman would not be on second for long as DiCandilo moved her to third with a single to right center. The Fords did not get any runs across in the frame but the tone was set nonetheless, as Haverford would go down in order just once throughout the contest.

The offense went right back to work in the second with three more hits including Schnall's third home run of the season that came with two outs. Schnall's blast over the center-field fence brought home Gabrielle Sapienza and staked the Fords to a 2-0 lead.

Haverford, moving to 10-1 this season when it scores first, added another run in the third when DiCandilo started things off with a lead-off double. DiCandilo's smart baserunning allowed the junior to score when Erica Wenzel misplayed a grounder from the bat of Dayle Comerford.

Heather Porrini took over for Sisco in the circle in the fourth and the Fords greeted her with another long ball. Stepping to the plate with two outs and Schnall at second, DiCandilo struck the ninth home run of her career down the left-field line.

Sara Tauriello (6-0) took full advantage of the run support and limited the Mules (15-5, 6-2) to just three hits and one run over the remainder of the game. The reigning pitcher of the week, Tauriello struck out seven Muhlenberg batters including five in the final three innings. The freshman left hander kept the Mules guessing as she sent five batters down looking to match the program single-game record.

DiCandilo finished 3-for-3 with two RBIs and two runs scored in the game. Newman, Brody and Sapienza chipped in with a hit apiece.

The marathon opening contest saw the two squads battle to a scoreless tie through nine innings. Haverford's Emily Winesett (6-4) struck out seven and scattered five hits but Muhlenberg's Kelsey Jones (9-1) was just as effective with eight strikeouts of her own.

Adhering to NCAA tiebreaker rules, each team started the 10th inning with a runner on second and nobody out. The Mules sacrificed Colleen O'Donnell to third and faced two outs after Devon Barber fouled out to Comerford. Benjamin broke the tie in a big way, however, as she sent a two-run blast to left field.

The Fords looked to manufacture a few runs of their own in the bottom of the 10th but Jones sent Haverford down in order to close out the victory.

Newman went 3-for-3 to lead the offense in the opener while DiCandilo chipped in with two hits as part of her 5-for-8 day.

The Fords take a brief break from Centennial action when they travel to Gwynedd-Mercy College on Thursday for a non-conference twinbill against the Griffins beginning at 3 p.m. Haverford resumes its conference slate on Sunday when it hosts McDaniel College. The doubleheader against the defending champion Green Terror begins at 1 p.m.