Ravens Win Game One on Play at the Plate, Take One of Two in Kutztown

Kaitlyn Rooney (Photo Courtesy of Dan Forget Photography)
Kaitlyn Rooney (Photo Courtesy of Dan Forget Photography)

KUTZTOWN, Pa. (March 18, 2019) – The Franklin Pierce University softball team ended their six-game road trip on Monday splitting a two-game doubleheader versus Kutztown University. In game one, the Crimson and Grey bested the Bears 3-1 in eight innings before suffering a 13-0 five-inning defeat in the back end of the twinbill. The Ravens travel back north to New Hampshire at 4-10 while Kutztown improves to 11-10.

The Ravens earned the 3-1 extra-inning victory due in part to timely hitting from third baseman Ashley Conway (Salem, N.H.) and fielding from left fielder Jess Rego (Richmond, R.I.). Rego wrapped up the Pierce win throwing out a runner at the dish completing a game-ending double play. Sophomore pitcher Cyrena Zemaitis (Goshen, Conn.) tallied her 200th career strikeout in the victory.

Game One: Ravens 3, Bears 1 (Final – 8 Innings)

Zemaitis started her eighth game of the season and evened her record to 4-4 overall after tossing her fifth complete game scattering five hits and punching out five. First baseman Lexi Garcia (Sylmar, Calif.) was 2-for-3 with a double, an RBI and walk. Shortstop Ashley Rosario (Queensbury, N.Y.) had the only other multi-hit effort for the Ravens. Freshman catcher Cat Simmons (Pine Plains, N.Y.) 10 game hitting streak ended with a 0-for-4 day.

Ava Bottiglia earned the start in the circle for the Bears and only lasted three innings as she ran into trouble in the fourth inning. Bridget Bailey pitched the remainder of the game (five innings) and allowed four hits, two runs – one earned and struck out six Ravens. Three-hole right fielder Tamara Jennings was 1-for-2 in the box with the lone KU RBI.

The Bears threatened in the top of first with two away when Jennings bunt singled to first base. First baseman Jenna Lipowski was drilled by a pitch, which moved Jennings into scoring position. Zemaitis then punched out backstop Hannah Auvil swinging on five pitches to end the threat. A half inning later in the top of the second, Pierce flooded the bases via a centerfielder Gina Hinckley (Lancaster, Mass.) single up the middle, a Garcia seven-pitch walk, and a Rosario single through the hole between third and short. Bottiglia settled down and sent the next two Raven batters back to the dugout by way of the K to strand the bases jacked.

Kutztown cracked the scoring column on the home half of the third. Left fielder Sarah Keeny started the frame with a bunt single to third. She immediately completed a theft of second base and moved into third base following a sacrifice bunt. With one away, Jennings lofted a sacrifice fly to left field accounting for the lone Bear run.

FPU loaded the bases in the top of the fourth. Hinckley wore a pitch for the team, Garcia singled to left and Rosario notched her second hit of the game to chase starter Bottiglia from the game. Bailey went into the circle and sent down Rego via K for the first out. Second baseman Kaitlyn Rooney (Shirley, Mass.) deadlocked the game, 1-1 lining a one-out single into right field driving in Hinckley. The next Raven batter reached first on a fielder's choice as Garcia was gunned out at the plate. Bailey struck out the next batter to end the inning.

Both squads had scoring chances in the sixth and seventh innings. They could not manufacture runs as game one headed into extra innings. In the top of the eighth, Simmons, the last out of the seventh was placed on second base. Freshman Maiah Lopez (Oxnard, Calif.) pinch ran and promptly came home to score on Conway's slap single to right on the second pitch of the at-bat to move the Ravens ahead 2-1. With one away, Conway came home off a Garcia first-pitch double to left expanding the Raven edge to 3-1.

In the bottom of the eighth, Alyssa Oakley pinch ran for Alyssa Donato and shortly after, Keeny sacrificed Oakley to third for the first out. Katelyn Ostaszewski dug into the box looking to bring her team within one and looked to do just that putting a ball into play to left field. The Raven left fielder Rego caught the pop fly, chucked a dart towards the plate and Simmons put the tag on the runner for the game-clinching double play.

Game Two: Bears 13, Ravens 0 (Final - 5 Innings)

Junior pitcher Amelia Mamone (Averill Park, N.Y.) fell to 0-6 on the year as she allowed 10 runs – nine earned on nine hits in two innings. Senior Sabrina LoMonaco (Franklin, Mass.) came on in relief and struck out one Bear in two frames. Caitlyn Munzing (Beverly, Mass.) was 2-for-3 from the second spot in the lineup for Pierce.

For Kutztown, third baseman Taylor Knappenberger produced a 2-for-3 effort with a double, a triple and a team-best three RBI.

Raven freshman catcher Allie Martinez (Upland, Calif.) and Munzing roped back-to-back singles to start game two. Simmons fouled out to left field and Conway grounded into a double play to end the top of the first. The Bears tallied the first run in the game again this time in the top of the first. Keeny led off smoking a double into the left centerfield gap. She scored two batters later with two outs when Jenna Lipowski singled up the middle. Zoe Texidor pinch ran for Lipowski and was brought in when Auvil tripled down the right-field line increasing their margin to 2-0. Kristin Kaleycik walked and Jones singled to center plating Auvil upping the score to 3-0. With two runners on, Knappenberger tripled for the fifth hit of the frame clearing the bases and putting the hosts ahead 5-0. They chipped on another tally as Emily Ostaszewski struck out swinging but reached base after a Raven miscue. KU batted around and with Keeny batting again, Ostaszewski stole second. Mamone ended the inning with a strikeout as the Bears led 6-0 in the early stages.

With one down in the top of the second, the Ravens strung together three consecutive singles off the bats of Garcia, Rosario, and Rego. Rooney had the bases loaded and grounded into a fielder's choice for the second out. The bases were still juiced for Martinez who struck out to strand the bases loaded. In the bottom half of the frame, Katelyn Ostaszewski bunt singled to third and crossed the plate one batter later via a Jennings RBI triple off the bat of Cheyenne Jones. Texidor stole second and Jennings stole home until Jennings advanced the Bear margin to 10-0 with a triple to right.

The Ravens tried to capitalize but did not produce any runs in the top of the third and fourth as they had two runners on with no outs in the third and the bases loaded with two down in the fourth. Kutztown tacked on three more to run-rule FPU.

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).