KISSIMMEE, Fla. –The Holy Cross softball team recorded its first win of the season on Tuesday afternoon at the Rebel Spring Games against Yale. The Crusaders began the day against St. Francis (Pa.) and suffered a 6-0 shutout loss before bouncing back to defeat Yale by a score of 7-6. Junior Sam Fregenti (Melville, N.Y.) knocked her second homer of the season over the left field fence in the fifth inning to become the new all-time Holy Cross leader in career home runs with 17. Senior Camille Trainor (Worcester, Mass.) went four and two-thirds innings to earn the victory in the circle for the Crusaders and freshman Tori Cheske (Thomaston, Conn.) recorded her first career save.
Game one against St. Francis was scoreless through the first three innings before the Red Flash scored one run in the top of the fourth on an RBI double by Chelsea Rex. St. Francis then scored three runs in the top of the fifth off sophomore pitcher Julia Barrett (Gardner, Mass.), who went four and one-third innings and struck out five but suffered her third loss of the season. Junior Jenna Legros (Sandy Hook, Conn.) came in to pitch the final two and two-thirds innings giving up two runs in the top of the seventh to bring the final score to 6-0. Megan Layne received the win for the Red Flash as they improved to 4-3 on the year.
The Crusaders responded after a disappointing game one to tally five runs in the top of the first inning against Yale. Freshman Ashleigh Vargas (Wakefield, Mass.) led off the game with a line drive single to center field. Senior Gwen Reimer (Pottsville, Pa.) laid down a bunt single and sophomore Sarah Free (Claremont, Calif.) sacrifice bunted Vargas and Reimer into scoring position. Fregenti then singled to right field to drive in two runs, sophomore Alex Gustafson (Medford, Mass.) singled to center, and both runners came around to score on a two-RBI double by sophomore Kelliner Croushore (Claremont, Calif.). Holy Cross batted around in the first inning marking the second time this season all nine batters have come to the plate in an inning.
Yale was able to respond in the bottom of the second inning plating four runs off Legros, who started the game. Legros went two-plus innings before Trainor entered the circle in relief. The Crusaders were not done offensively as Free hit a one-out double down the left field line before Fregenti stepped to the plate and drove the ball over the left field fence to set the new Holy Cross career record. Fregenti also drove in the game winning RBI on the home run as Yale attempted to mount a comeback in the bottom of the seventh. After Trainor retired the first two batters of the inning on a fly out and ground out, Christy Nelson and Sarah Onorato hit back-to-back singles and Tori Balta doubled them in to put the Bulldogs down one and the tying run on second base. Cheske came in to throw two straight strikes to Kelsey Warkentine who softly grounded the 0-2 pitch back to the circle for the easy putout and the Crusaders secured its first victory of the young season.
With the win, head coach Brian Claypool also recorded his 100th career coaching victory. The Crusaders are now 1-5 on the season and will look to build on the first victory next time out on Thursday, March 8, when they will face Pennsylvania at 9:00 a.m. and Indiana State in a rematch of Monday's game at 11:00 a.m.