KISSIMMEE, Fla. – The Holy Cross softball team took the field in its final day of action at the Rebel Spring Games in Florida on Saturday, falling to Akron (8-8) by a score of 6-0 but ending on a positive note with a 3-0 victory over Manhattan. Sophomore Julia Barrett (Gardner, Mass.) earned her first win of the season with a complete game shutout, allowing four hits and striking out four. Barrett concludes the spring trip with a team high 2.07 ERA and a record of 1-5. Sophomore Kelliner Croushore (Claremont, Calif.) led off the bottom of the sixth inning with her first career home run over the left center field fence to lead the Crusaders offensively.
The Crusaders handed the ball to junior Jenna Legros (Sandy Hook, Conn.) in game one against Akron and she came out strong striking out two batters in the first inning. Legros got into a jam in the bottom of the second after walking the bases loaded. With two outs Zips' leadoff batter Katie Gross lined a single to center field to score the first two runs of the ballgame and give Akron the 2-0 lead after two. In the bottom half of the third, Alissa Birkhimer led off with a walk, Iesha Mountain pinch ran and stole both second and third, and Rachael Ratcliffe singled to give Akron the 3-0 advantage.
Senior Camille Trainor (Worcester, Mass.) entered the circle in relief in the fourth inning, but the Zips were able to plate three two-out runs to increase its lead to 6-0. Trainor retired the side in order in both the fifth and sixth innings, but the Crusaders were never able to get the bats going. Zips' starting pitcher Brittany Maurer (8-7) went four perfect innings retiring Holy Cross in order to get the win before being pulled prior to the start of the fifth inning in favor of Lisa Lash. The Crusaders' only two hits came in the top of the fifth inning on singles by junior Sam Fregenti (Melville, N.Y.) and senior Nicole Ortiz (Whittier, Calif.). Legros took the loss and now holds a record of 0-3 on the year.
The second game versus Manhattan was scoreless through the first four innings until the Crusaders bats came alive in the bottom of the fifth. Barrett helped herself out with a one-out base hit to center field for her first hit of the season. Freshman Ashleigh Vargas (Wakefield, Mass.) then reached on an error through the legs of the third baseman. Senior Gwen Reimer (Pottsville, Pa.) singled to center to drive in Barrett and after sophomore Alex Gustafson (Medford, Mass.) walked, Fregenti hit a sacrifice fly to center to plate Vargas. Croushore added the home run in the sixth to give the Crusaders the 3-0 shutout. Amanda Babcock led the way for the Jaspers with two hits. Amy Bright (0-2) took the loss for Manhattan allowing two earned runs and four hits, walking three and striking out six.
Holy Cross (2-10) will return north and have a week off to prepare for a doubleheader on the road against Stony Brook on Saturday, March 17. The first game is scheduled for 12:00 p.m.