KISSIMMEE, Fla. – The Holy Cross softball team returned to the diamond on Thursday morning at the Rebel Spring Games to take on Pennsylvania and Indiana State in doubleheader action. Pennsylvania escaped with a 3-2 win on a walk-off single in the bottom of the seventh inning and Indiana St. took down the Crusaders for the second time this season by a score of 6-3. Senior Gwen Reimer (Pottsville, Pa.) led the Crusaders with a pair of hits in both games as Holy Cross falls to 1-7 this season.
Sophomore pitcher Julia Barrett (Gardner, Mass.) and Pennsylvania hurler Mikenzie Voves both came out with their pitches working as each let up only two hits through the first four innings. The Crusaders came to bat in the top of the fifth and freshman Abigail Lang (Londonderry, N.H.) led off the inning with a single up the middle for her first career hit. Senior Camille Trainor (Worcester, Mass.) then reached on fielder's choice as was Lang retired at second base. After freshman Ashleigh Vargas (Wakefield, Mass.) walked, Reimer hit a single down the left field line to score Trainor. The left fielder bobbled the ball which allowed Vargas to score and Reimer to advance to second on the play and Holy Cross took the lead, 2-0. Pennsylvania came right back when Jessica Melendez led off the bottom of the inning with a single to left and Samantha Erosa reached after being hit by a pitch. Bridget Ellsworth sacrifice bunted the runners into scoring position and Stephanie Caso drove them in with a double to left field to tie the game, 2-2.
Following a scoreless six and top of the seventh, the Quakers' Erosa reached on an error and advanced to second on an Ellsworth groundout. Caso took a walk and lead-off hitter Sydney Turchin singled to center field to bring Erosa around to score the game winning run. Barrett suffered her fourth loss of the season in the 3-2 heartbreaker while Voves improved to 2-1 on the year.
In the second game against Indiana State, Vargas led off the game with a walk and came around to score on a single by junior Sam Fregenti (Melville, N.Y.), who tallied her team-high eighth RBI of the season. Once again the Crusaders were unable to hold the lead as the Sycamores came back with two runs in the bottom half of the opening frame on a double steal of second and home and a sacrifice fly by Olivia Andres. Both teams had runners in scoring position in the second and third innings but the score remained 2-1, Indiana State, as neither team was able to capitalize.
In the fourth inning, Holy Cross junior starting pitcher Jenna Legros (Sandy Hook, Conn.) gave up a one-out double to Alex Lucas and a two-out walk to Alex Baumgart before Megan Stone laid a bunt down the third base line. Stone was called safe on a close play at first and both Lucas and Baumgart came around to score. Stone was thrown out trying to advance to second on the play to end the inning, but the Sycamores increased its lead to 4-1. In the bottom of the fifth, Trainor led off with a double down the left field line, Vargas singled to score Trainor and Reimer plated Vargas on a double to left center. Indiana State made a pitching change from Kristen Felker to Lindsey Beisser, who was able to get the Sycamores out of the inning, but not before the Crusaders cut the lead to one, 4-3.
After Trainor entered in relief of Legros in the fifth inning, Indiana State's Mackenzie Connelly led off the top of the sixth with a single to center and came around to score on an errant throw from Vargas after ranging to her left to field the ball. The Sycamores added an insurance run in the top of the seventh on a wild pitch after successfully bunting for two base hits and loading the bases on a single to center. Andres lined to second and Shelby Wilson was doubled up at second base to end the inning, but Indiana State held the 6-3 lead. Vargas earned a two-out single in the bottom half of the inning but the Crusaders were unable to rally and suffered its seventh loss of the season. Legros went four-plus innings and took the decision falling to 0-2 while Felker got the win to move to 2-0. Reimer ended the day with four hits in seven at-bats and two RBI.
The Crusaders will look to rebound tomorrow, March 9, with another doubleheader at the Rebel Spring Games against Utah Valley and Florida A&M beginning at 1:00 p.m.