|Bowen, McDevitt Homer In Doubleheader Split at Marist|
POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. - On Sunday afternoon, the Manhattan College softball team paid a visit to Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) rival Marist. The Jaspers (8-33, 3-9 MAAC) rallied from a 2-0 deficit to post a 4-2 victory in game one of the doubleheader at Gartland Field. However, Manhattan's comeback effort in the second game came up just short, as Marist (26-21, 8-4 MAAC) held on for a 4-3 triumph.
Marist took a 2-0 lead in the second inning of game one. After Aly Klemmer drew a leadoff walk, Haley Birnbaum dropped down a bunt. Birnbaum beat the throw to first, however, putting runners on first and second with nobody out. Christina Lausch struck out while trying to bunt, then the runners moved up on Taylor Kuzma's groundout to first. Ashley Corriss was up next, and she delivered a two-run single to center field that gave the Red Foxes the lead.
In the top of the fourth, Jocelin Whitmore (La Habra, Calif.) knocked a leadoff single to left, then Amanda Babcock (Haverstraw, N.Y.) followed with a base hit to right. Kate Bowen (Newtown, Conn.), who celebrated her birthday on Sunday, followed and gave herself a birthday present with a long three-run homer to center field that put Manhattan in front 3-2. The next batter, Meghan McDevitt (Nutley, N.J.) walked, but the rally ended when Mickayla Romero (Las Vegas, Nev.) hit a line drive up the middle that was snagged by the second baseman, who then doubled up McDevitt at first.
The Jaspers added an insurance tally in the fifth. With two down, Amanda Berrios (Carteret, N.J.) beat out a grounder to short for an infield single. Whitmore then reached on an error before Babcock delivered an RBI single to increase the cushion to 4-2. Marist got leadoff singles in both the sixth and the seventh, but Kelsi Redding (Tucson, Ariz.) left the runner stranded each time, and the contest ended when Danielle Koltz lifted a foul popup behind third base.
Manhattan collected seven hits in game one, with Babcock going 2-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored. Bowen drove in three on her team-leading fourth home run of the season, while Berrios and Whitmore each finished 1-for-3 with a run scored. Redding (4-11) picked up the win after surrendering two runs on six hits in a complete game effort. She struck out six and walked three.
Kuzma went 2-for-3 in the No. 9 hole for the Red Foxes, while Corriss drove in both Marist runs and Birnbaum was 1-for-3 with a run scored. Melanie White (5-9) started in the circle and lasted 4.2 innings. She gave up four runs (three earned) and six hits while striking out five and walking one. Emily Osterhaus struck out four and walked one in 2.1 innings of one-hit scoreless relief.
After the Jaspers went down in order in the top of the first in game two, Marist scored all four of its runs in the bottom half of the inning. Megan Lamoureux and Danielle Koltz both walked before Nicole DiVirgilio ripped an RBI double to left. Alyssa Zahka was up next, and she slammed a three-run homer over the wall in center to give the Red Foxes a 4-0 lead.
It remained 4-0 until the fourth, when Manhattan got one run back. Bowen started the inning with a single to right. Romero added a one-out single before Jen Keller (Woodridge, N.J.) walked to load the bases. Kelly Murray (Leominster, Mass.) followed, and she also drew a walk, forcing in a run. The Jaspers then pulled within one with a two-spot in the fifth. With one out, Babcock doubled to left field. She faked towards third on Bowen's fly out to center, drawing a throw. The throw to third was well wide, allowing Babcock to move up a base. The error didn't matter, though, because McDevitt followed with a long blast to left field that trimmed Manhattan's deficit to 4-3.
Koltz doubled leading off the bottom half of the inning, prompting Manhattan Head Coach Tom Pardalis to call upon Redding in relief of Bowen. The runner moved to third on a groundout, but was left stranded there, as Redding struck out the next two Marist hitters to get out of the inning.
In the top of the sixth, Manhattan threatened to tie the game. With one down, Murray slapped a single to center field. Amanda Paxson (Cedar Grove, N.J.) followed with a double to the wall in right center, and Murray was waived home. However, a perfect relay throw beat her to the plate, and the tag was applied just before she was able to score the tying run. Whitmore then grounded out to end the inning, and the Jaspers were retired in order in the seventh, giving Marist the 4-3 win. It was the Red Foxes' first regular-season victory over the Jaspers since April 17, 2009 (Marist did beat Manhattan in last season's MAAC Tournament, however).
Six different Jaspers had hits in game two, with McDevitt contributing a pair of RBIs and scoring twice. Murray was 1-for-1 with two walks and an RBI, while Babcock went 1-for-3 with a run scored. Bowen (3-12) settled down after a shaky first. She lasted four-plus innings, giving up four runs on seven hits, walking two and striking out one. Redding retired all six hitters she faced, including four via strikeout, in two innings of relief.
DiVirgilio and Birnbaum both went 2-for-3 for the Red Foxes in game two. DiVirgilio added a run scored and an RBI, while Zahka drove in three on her homer. After tossing the final 2.1 innings of game one, Osterhaus (10-6) started the nightcap and went 4.2 innings. She yielded three runs on four hits, struck out three and walked four. Paige Lewis earned her second save of the season after allowing just two hits and one walk while striking out two in 2.1 innings of work out of the bullpen.
After taking Monday off, the Jaspers conclude non-conference play with back-to-back doubleheaders on Tuesday and Wednesday. Manhattan makes the short trip to Columbia for a 1:30 p.m. twinbill with the Lions (12-33) on Tuesday.