By Pat Zazzarino
GREENVILLE, Tenn.—Kutztown’s women’s softball team has hit a slump with back-to-back scoreless losses on Saturday, Feb., 22 in a tournament hosted by Tusculum College. However, the Maroon and Gold defeated Mercyhurst on Sunday, Feb. 23 with a final score of 8-0, bumping their record to 3-6.
The Golden Bears opened up against Tusculum (6-7) during their tournament on Saturday. Freshmen Marka Ballard and sophomore Lindsey Kelley each struck singles to give KU an early opportunity to score in the top of the second by putting runners on base. However, they weren’t able to cross the plate.
Tusculum rallied in the bottom of the inning, sailing three hits and scoring a run off an RBI double to left field. The last score of the game was from the Pioneers, with a sacrifice bunt and an RBI single. Golden Bear freshmen Savannah Nierintz pitched four scoreless innings, but junior Dominique Ficara was hit five times for two runs in her two innings of work. That was all the Pioneers needed.
KU’s second game was against Wise (3-2). The Golden Bears were once again barren at the plate. KU senior Colleen Smith gave the Maroon and Gold a chance to score in the bottom of the fifth with a single. Freshmen Stephanie DiNolfi managed to reach second with a bunt followed by a walk, but the Cavaliers ended the game with a groundout, deflating the Golden Bears with another disappointing loss.
The tide turned for Kutztown on Sunday, however. Still in Tennessee, the Golden Bears faced off against a winless Mercyhurst and won a five-inning game. This is their second victory against Mercyhurst this season.
The Maroon and Gold came out swinging – and connecting – for big plays. Kutztown scored four runs in the first inning with two outs. Senior Morgan Booth initiated Kutztown’s scores by sprinting to the plate on a wild pitch. Nierintz smashed a two-run triple later.
Rachel Lawes, Jackie Hetzler—as well as Smith and Ballard—all contributed with clutch hits that led to the team’s biggest win of the weekend. Kutztown had a total of seven hits, while Mercyhurst only had four.
The ladies will return to the field during spring break in Salem, Va. and Clermont, Fl.