Softball Overcomes Three Run Deficit To Earn Doubleheader Split

Junior Lianna Jordan Hit a homerun and drove in the game winning run in the eighth inning on a suicide squeeze against Bridgeport.

Skyhawks drop opener to Caldwell 3-0, upend Bridgeport 5-4

CLERMONT, Fla. (March 11, 2016) – The Stonehill College softball team split a pair of contests today at the Dot Richardson Spring Games in non-conference action at Hancock Park. Stonehill was shutout, 3-0 in the opener against Caldwell University before rebounding to top the University of Bridgeport 5-4 in extra innings.

Caldwell 3, Stonehill 0

 Stonehill failed to score a run in the opener, recording six hits and stranding seven runners. Junior Cassandra Squeri (New Providence, New Jersey/New Providence) got the start in the circle today and was the hard luck loser after pitching four innings and giving up two runs (one earned), with one walk and two strikeouts.

Junior Michelle Carbone (Deer Park, New York/St. Anthony's) led the Skyhawks offensively, going 2-for-3 with a double. Senior Megan Staudle (New Windsor, New York/Cornwall Central) went 1-for-1, while classmate Lauren Esposito (Middlefield, Connecticut/Coginchaug) extended her hitting streak to five games, finishing 1-for-4.

Senior Amber Padilla (Chino, California/Pomona Catholic) earned her first win of the season for Caldwell, throwing a complete game shutout with three strikeouts. Junior Amy Hickman (Jackson, New Jersey/Jackson Liberty) led the attack for the Cougars, finishing a perfect 3-for-3 with two runs, while senior Caitlin McCready (Jupiter, Florida/Dwyer) also posted a multi-hit effort, going 2-for-3 with a RBI.

Caldwell scored once in the first, fourth and fifth and that proved to be the difference in the game. Stonehill's best scoring opportunity came in the fourth inning when junior Taylor Lester (East Northport, New York/St. Anthony's) singled with one out. Carbone then followed with a single of her own and senior Megan Ruonavaara (Rocky Hill, Connecticut/Rocky Hill) walked to load the bases. The Skyhawks were unable to advance any of their runners as the next two batters went down in order.


Stonehill 5, Bridgeport 4

Senior Sarah Ropiak pitched a perfect 4.1 innings of relief in the win against Bridgeport.

Stonehill earned a thrilling victory in the second game of the doubleheader, coming back from a three run deficit to force extra innings where they won in the eighth. Ruonavaara got the nod on the bump for the Skyhawks, pitching 2.2 innings while giving up four runs and striking out two. Senior Sarah Ropiak (Acton, Massachusetts/Acton-Boxborough) took over in relief and pitched 4.1 innings, striking out five while not allowing a run.

Junior Lianna Jordan (Staten Island, New York/St. Joseph By the Sea) hit her first homerun of the season and successfully dropped down a squeeze bunt in the eighth inning to score the winning run. Ruonavaara also contributed on offense, hitting the game tying RBI double in the seventh to send the game into extra innings.

Bridgeport jumped out to a 3-1 lead in the second inning, using back-to-back homeruns by senior Brittney Maio (Guilford, Connecticut/Guilford) and classmate Tara Faford (Grafton, Massachusetts/Grafton). The Purple Knights launched another homerun in the third to extend the lead to 4-1 where it would stay until fifth inning. Jordan got a run back for the Skyhawks in the fifth when she sent her first long ball out of the park to cut the lead in half.

Stonehill rallied to score two in the seventh inning to force extra innings. Esposito got things started when she reached base with one out on a hit by pitch. Lester then hit into a fielder's choice to give the Skyhawks two outs with only one runner on base. After Carbone reached on an error, Ruonavaara hit a clutch two RBI double to knot the game up at four runs apiece.

In the extra inning, Carbone pitched a perfect inning of relief, striking out two batters while allowing a walk. For Stonehill, Squeri started on second base per International rules and was moved to third on a sacrifice bunt by senior Alison Sumski (Amherst, New Hampshire/Souhegan). Staudle then reached base on an error which brought Jordan up to the plate. Jordan dropped down a bunt for a suicide squeeze, scoring Squeri from third base and sending the Skyhawks off with a win.

Stonehill wraps up their Florida trip tomorrow with a doubleheader against Molloy College. The first game is scheduled for 9:00 a.m. and the second game will be played at 11:00 a.m. The Skyhawks then return home to Gartland Field to open NE-10 play in a doubleheader against Assumption College on Wednesday, March 16th.

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