April 23, 2013

Bats come alive in 14th inning to lift Fords over Ursinus

COLLEGEVILLE, Pa. - A five-run explosion in the 14th inning helped the Haverford College softball team outlast host Ursinus College, 10-5, in Centennial Conference play at Snell Field. Tuesday afternoon's action concluded the contest that was halted last week on account of darkness.

The Fords (21-11, 8-6 CC) and Bears (11-19, 6-8) picked up action where it had come to a stop on Tuesday, April 16. Leading 3-2 in the top of the 10th courtesy of an RBI from Elizabeth Newman, Haverford had the bases loaded with one out. Ursinus pitcher Kelly Schymanski (7-11) prevented further damage however, as she struck out Kristin Tatum and induced a pop fly from Stephanie Wolfson

The tie-breaker rule was in effect from the 10th inning on so Ursinus began the bottom of the frame with Monica Bonitatis on second. Amy Gentile's bunt single advanced Bonitatis to third and she eventually scored an unearned run to tie the contest.

The two squads traded runs again in the 11th and 12th before the Bears kept the Fords off the scoreboard in the 13th with some strong defense that prevented Miwa Wenzel from scoring on Gabrielle Sapienza's fly out to right field.

Haverford matched Ursinus' defensive effort in the bottom of the 13th. After Schymanski reached third on a ground out from Caitlin Whelan, Sara Tauriellorose to the occasion with her seventh strikeout of the contest as she sent Delia Mercurio down swinging. Emelie McFarland looked for a game-winning hit but Lauren Touey ended the Bears' threat when she squeezed Mcfarland's pop fly to shortstop.

It was just a matter of time before the Fords broke through as this year's squad has already set new single-season team marks for batting average, slugging percentage, runs batted in and runs scored. After Jill Schnall reached on a fielding error to begin the 14th frame, Newman came to the plate with two runners on and the team's leader in hits made the most of the opportunity. Newman's single to left scored Sapienza from third and provided Haverford with its fifth lead of the game. Sarah Brody's team-leading eighth successful sacrifice bunt of the year advanced both runners bringing the heart of the order to the plate. Jen DiCandilo's third hit of the game, a single to center, brought Newman and Schnall home and pushed the Fords' advantage to 8-5.

Tatum reached on a fielder's choice after a single to center by Dayle Comerford and then Wolfson registered her second extra-base hit of the contest. Coach Jen Ward re-entered Wolfson into the contest for Wenzel and the sophomore came through in resounding fashion. Driving in DiCandilo and Tatum, Wolfson drilled a double to center to cap the five-run outburst.

Ursinus went down in order in the bottom of the frame as Tauriello closed out the contest with a strikeout of Bonitatis to give the visitors a split of last week's doubleheader.

The early innings of the contest played last Tuesday saw the Bears take a 1-0 lead in the fifth. Down to its last two outs, Haverford received a boost from Wolfson as the third home run of her career forced extra innings.

The two teams then came up with one run apiece in the ninth setting up the conclusion of the marathon game.

Pitching every inning of the contest but one, Tauriello (8-2) struck out eight and scattered nine hits. Each of the four runs scored against the freshman were unearned. The 13-inning outing sets a new single-game program record.

Newman, Brody and DiCandilo each finished with three hits as the top three hitters in the line-up went a combined 9-for-18.

Comerford, Newman and Tatum established new program marks for at-bats in a single game with seven as the team set another record with a collective 53 at-bats.

Currently tied for third in the Centennial standings, the Fords welcome Gettysburg College (17-19, 7-7) to Class of '95 Field on Saturday, the final day of the regular season, for a twinbill beginning at 1 p.m. The Bullets sit in fifth place but just a game behind Haverford in the tight race for a spot in the conference playoffs. Sapienza, the Fords' lone senior on the roster, will be recognized prior to the doubleheader.