WORCESTER, Mass. – Freshman Colleen Ahern (Northbrook, Ill.) went three-for-three in game one with three runs batted in and junior Kelliner Croushore (Claremont, Calif.) drove in the game-winning run in the bottom of the sixth in game two as the Holy Cross softball team swept the Army Black Knights on Sunday by scores of 7-2 and 2-1. The Crusaders are not 11-15 (5-3 Patriot League) while Army is now 18-15 (2-4 Patriot League).
After a scoreless first inning, Ahern doubled to right center and scored on a double by Croushore to give Holy Cross the lead, 1-0. The Crusaders increased the lead in the bottom of the third as freshman Emily Jarvis (Hopkinton, Mass.) walked and sophomore Ashleigh Vargas (Wakefield, Mass.) was hit by a pitch. Ahern then stepped to the plate with two outs in the inning and singled down the left field line to widen the Holy Cross margin to 3-0.
Freshman pitcher Gennifer Durham (Abbeville, S.C.) retired the first 11 Army batters in order before giving up a two-out double in the top of the fourth to April Ortenzo. Alex Reynolds followed with a single to the left side that scored Ortenzo to put Army on the board. The Black Knights then cut the lead to one, 3-2, in the top of the fifth as Bernadette Cardon homered down the left field line, but it was as close as Army would get in the game.
Holy Cross put up four runs in the bottom of the fifth as senior Sam Fregenti (Melville, N.Y.) reached on a one-out error and freshman pinch runner Hailey Mullen (Plainville, Mass.) stole second. Junior Alex Gustafson (Medford, Mass.) followed with a double to left center that scored Mullen. Ahern then singled to drive in senior pinch runner Jenna Legros (Sandy Hook, Conn.) and give the Crusaders a 5-2 lead. With Ahern on first base, sophomore Emma Keough (Rochester, Mass.) put the game out of reach with her first home run of the season and second long ball of her career over the left field fence to make the final score 7-2, Holy Cross.
Durham recorded the win and moves to 5-6 on the season, going seven innings and allowing two runs on five hits while striking out one. Army pitcher Morgan Lashley suffered the loss to move to 14-10, allowing seven runs (four earned) on eight hits while striking out eight in six innings.
Holy Cross got on the board in the top of the first inning as Jarvis laid down a perfect bunt single and stole second. Fregenti then doubled to left center to bring Jarvis around to score and give the Crusaders a 1-0 advantage.
Army responded in the top of the fourth as Marina Northup reached on a fielder's choice, advanced the second on a wild pitch and scored on a single by Rae Anne Payleitner, tying the game, 1-1. The Black Knight's best chance to take the lead came in the top of the sixth inning as Ortenzo got on with a single. A base hit and fielder's choice followed to advance Ortenzo to third before junior pitcher Julia Barrett (Gardner, Mass.) got a foul out and ground out to get out of the jam and keep the game knotted at one.
In the bottom of the sixth, Fregenti hit a one-out single and Mullen came on to pinch run. Gustafson followed with a single and Ahern walked to load the bases. Croushore came through in the clutch to drive in Mullen from third with two outs and give the Crusaders a 2-1 victory. Barrett struck out the final Army batter of the game to strand two Black Knights runners on first and second in the top of the seventh.
Barrett recorded the win and is now 5-6 on the season. She went seven complete innings and allowed one run on seven hits while striking out six. Army pitcher Braetana Roy (4-5) went six innings and allowed two runs on seven hits while striking out four.
Holy Cross will return to action for its final non-conference road games of the season this Tuesday, April 9, at Siena. The doubleheader is scheduled to begin at 3:00 p.m.