Late runs, twice, allow McDaniel to escape with doubleheader sweep
HAVERFORD, Pa. – Sunday afternoon's softball doubleheader turned twice on last at-bats as visiting McDaniel College escaped with narrow Centennial Conference victories downing host Haverford College 4-2 in the opener and then 2-1 in a 10-inning nightcap at Class of '95 Field.
The Fords (15-9, 4-4 CC) and Green Terror (14-12, 3-5) seemed to be within one pitch or one hit of each other throughout the day spending 10 of the twinbill's combined 17 innings all knotted up. Haverford finished the two-game set with a total of 13 hits while McDaniel registered 11.
The opener (box score) saw McDaniel jump to a 2-0 lead in the top of the first off Haverford starting pitcher Emily Winesett. The Fords fought back with a run in the bottom of the frame to halve the lead then tied the game at 2-2 in the third.
Elizabeth Newman led the Haverford half of the first off by getting plunked by Green Terror starter Caroline Brehm. Newman raced to third on a sacrifice bunt attempt by Sarah Brody which ended with Brody standing on first base on a fielding error by the second baseman. A delayed double steal brought Newman home and put Brody at second, but the one run was all the Fords would muster in the inning.
The tying run in the third included the same pairing as Newman led off the inning with a double, moved to third on a sacrifice bunt from Brody, then scored on a Brehm wild pitch.
Neither team mounted much of a scoring threat over the next few innings until Haverford put the first two batters on base in the sixth. However, Jen DiCandilo was left stranded at third and Dayle Comerford at second as Brehm extinguished the threat.
Winesett had sailed through five innings following the Green Terror's opening at-bat but finally ran into trouble in the top of the seventh. McDaniel scored twice to forge a 4-2 lead then closed out the win in the bottom of the frame as Brehm limited the Fords to an infield single by Newman.
Sara Tauriello had relieved Winesett with one out in the seventh but Winesett (6-6) ended up taking the loss after allowing four runs on five hits, one walk and a pair of strikeouts. Tauriello struck out both Green Terror batters she faced in the top of the seventh.
Brehm threw all seven innings to earn the win allowing a pair of runs, one was unearned, off five hits and a walk while striking out eight.
Game 2 was even tighter than the opener as a scoreless tie wasn't broken until Haverford pushed a run across the plate in the bottom of the third, only to be matched by the Green Terror who scored an unearned run off Fords starter Claire Fitzgerald in the top of the fourth.
The game stayed tied at 1-1 into extra innings when the tie-breaker rule came into effect in the 10th. The rule places the final batter of the previous inning at second base which put Amy Baumgardner on the bag as the go-ahead run.
Tauriello, who had relieved Fitzgerald after one out in the sixth, watched the Green Terror add two more base runners on bunt singles. It looked like Tauriello might get out of the bases-loaded, no-out jam when she struck out Stephanie Maring then induced an infield grounder from Jaclyn Liebowitz, but the grounder was softly hit and the only option Haverford second baseman Jill Schnall had was to go for the out at first as Baumgardner crossed the plate.
Tauriello got Emily Sneeringer to fly out to short center, but the Green Terror owned the lead for the first time in the game.
Brianna Lowey pinch ran for Comerford and became the Fords' runner at second to start the bottom of the 10th. Kristin Tatum bunted Lowey over to third for the first out of the inning and brought the tying run 60 feet closer for Lauren Touey.
Touey also bunted and with Lowey running on contact the play was going to be close at the plate, but Green Terror catcher Leigh Blohm received the ball from Brehm and applied a sweep tag on Lowey's arm just before her hand slid across the plate. Brehm (13-7) then closed the door with a strikeout to earn her second victory of the day.
Fitzgerald took a no-decision, pitching six and a third innings allowing one unearned run on three hits and three walks while fanning six. Tauriello (6-1) took the hard-luck loss giving up an unearned run off three McDaniel hits while striking out five and not allowing a walk.
Haverford steps out of Centennial action for it's next outing, welcoming Widener University to campus Tuesday afternoon for a non-conference doubleheader starting at 3 p.m.