CLERMONT, Fla. (March 6, 2019) – The Franklin Pierce University softball team kicked off their 2019 slate of games Wednesday afternoon with two close defeats, the first a 6-2 decision to Trevecca Nazarene University and a 4-2 second game setback to the University of the Sciences. The wins send the Trojans to 10-5 overall and the Devils to 1-7.
Raven freshman outfielder Maiah Lopez (Oxnard, Calif.) paced the Ravens going 2-for-4 (.500) in both games with a stolen base and one run scored. Sophomore outfielder Gina Hinckley (Lancaster, Mass.) tallied the first round tripper of the season for the Crimson and Grey. Hurlers Cyrena Zemaitis (Goshen, Conn.) and Amelia Mamone (Averill Park, N.Y.) turned in fine performances in the circle as well.
Game One: Trojans 6, Ravens 2 (Final)
Zemaitis took the hill for the Ravens in their season opener and threw four innings allowing only two earned runs while punching out four batters. Mamone followed in relief surrendering one hit in two frames with one strikeout. Freshman designated player Cat Simmons (Pine Plains, N.Y.) entered the game as a pinch hitter and smoked an RBI single in her first collegiate at-bat.
For the guests, Morgan Powell started and was effectively wild over three and one-thirds of an inning walking six batters yielding two earned runs. Raygan Hall was called in to pitch and sent four batters down by way of the K in three and two-thirds of an inning to remain unblemished at 4-0 on the year. Shortstop MaKray Odom went 3-for-4 at the plate with a double, an RBI, three runs scored and two stolen bases.
The Trojans scored two runs in the bottom of the first, Odom reached base via a bunt single and promptly stole second base. Centerfielder Leena Robinson sacrificed Odom to third base putting runners at the corners with no outs. Robinson was caught stealing second base for the first out of the frame. Odom would come around to score on a passed ball making the game 1-0 in the early stages. Left fielder Tana Whited expanded the lead to 2-0 roping a two-bagger to left center.
An Odom double with two outs following an E6 and steal of second by right fielder Brooke Eakes increased the margin to 3-0. Another Raven miscue allowed Odom to score upping the lead to 4-0 after two innings.
FPU cut the lead in half rallying for two runs in the top of the fourth. With one away, Hinckley singled into the gap in right center, the next three Raven batters worked walks including first basemen Lexi Garcia (Sylmar, Calif.) who was credited with an RBI for the Ravens first run of the season. Simmons pinch hit and immediately made an impact barrelling a single to left centerfield putting the Ravens down two, 4-2. The ensuing Ravens were retired to stop the one out rally.
Trevecca looked to put the game away in the bottom half of the inning when they tacked on two more runs to their lead at 6-2. Pierce threatened in the top of the sixth when Lopez pinch hit, stroked a single and stole second, however, the next three batters were sent down to end the late scoring opportunity.
Game Two: Devils 4, Ravens 2 (Final)
In game two, team captain Ashley Conway (Salem, N.H.) was 2-for-3 in the batter's box with one walk. Simmons chipped in another RBI and Hinckley blasted a solo homer. Mamone started game two, throwing four innings allowing four runs – one earned with five strikeouts. Zemaitis pitched the last three innings allowing no hits while racking up five strikeouts.
USciences was led by left fielder Miranda Rodriguez's two runs scored, one base knock and one theft. Gabrielle Simms, Madison LaPlante, and Gina Pustizzi drove in a run apiece. Starter Kaitlyn Gaynor pitched a complete game striking out seven batters allowing only two runs while walking three and giving up five hits.
Mamone retired six of the first seven batters to bat in the first two frames. In the third inning, Pustizzi reached base via an error by FPU. Rodriguez followed with a single moving the runner, Pustizzi into scoring position. Mamone then struck out Camille Brown for the first out of the inning. Simms and LaPlante knocked RBI singles each to put the Devils ahead 2-0.
The top of the fourth began with a single and a sacrifice bunt. Pustizzi singled to plate shortstop Evangelina Olivera expanding the Devil edge to 3-0. Leadoff hitter, second basemen Camille Brown with two down, singled and Rodriguez galloped into third base following a steal. Brown stole second putting two runners in scoring position until Rodriguez would dash home on a passed ball moving the score to 4-0. Mamone sent Simms back to the dugout looking to end the inning.
Hinckley began the bottom half of the frame with a solo bomb to cut into the deficit at 4-1. The next full inning, Lopez led off with a single and she advanced all the way to third on a groundout and Conway base knock. Simmons plated Lopez and ran to first base via an error by the Devils shortstop bringing the score to 4-2. Simmons was out at second a batter later on a fielder's choice and sophomore left fielder Ashley Rosario (Queensbury, N.Y.) popped out to second to end the scoring threat.
In the bottom of the sixth, a Devils error and a walk had two runners on base with two down. Junior second basemen Kaitlyn Rooney (Shirley, Mass.) manufactured a single which moved the runners up, however, the Raven runner at second base was tagged out at the plate after a long relay and pickle. FPU was set down in order during the seventh frame to end any hopes of a comeback.
The Ravens remain in Clermont tomorrow for the second day of their trip as they duel with Minnesota State Moorhead at Sleepy Hollow Complex Field 2 at 11:45 a.m. and follow with Alderson Broaddus on Field 4 with first pitch set for 2:00 p.m.
For more information on Franklin Pierce Athletics, please visit the official website of Franklin Pierce Athletics (http://fpuravens.com). Also be sure to follow the Ravens through the Department of Athletics' official Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/FranklinPierceRavens), its YouTube channel (http://www.youtube.com/franklinpiercesports) and its Twitter feed (http://twitter.com/FPUathletics). Fans wishing to purchase Franklin Pierce softball apparel can do so at the Department of Athletics' online store (http://fpuravens.com). You can also follow the softball team on Twitter (https://twitter.com/FPUSoftball_) and Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/fpu_ravens_softball).