Softball Splits on Day Two From Myrtle Beach
Myrtle Beach, S.C. – Leading off the bottom of the first, junior Kate Smayda hooked a curve-ball around the right-field pole for what should have been her second homerun in as many days. But after rounding the bases and greeting her teammates at home, Smayda was sent back to the plate when the umpires ruled that the ball had gone foul before leaving the park. That run proved the difference as the Garnet dropped the second-game of Tuesday's double-header 5-4 to King's after defeating Penn College 9-0 in the opener.
Sophomore Sarina Lowe returned to the mound for the Garnet fresh off her 12-strikeout performance the previous day. After giving up a leadoff single in the top of the first, Lowe was helped by a nifty 5-6-4 double play on a sacrifice bunt attempt and finished the frame with a strikeout.
Swarthmore jumped on the board quickly in the bottom of the frame. Smayda singled to left center and stole second, advancing to third on a throwing error by the Penn College catcher. Jesslyn Lammerts '14 quickly drove in the runner with a single of her own and stole second. Nicole Aaron '14 singled to right to put runners on the corners and stole second to put two in scoring position with none out. A Danielle Seltzer '13 sacrifice fly gave the Garnet a 2-0 lead and Rose Pitkin '13 stretched the lead to three with a single up the middle. After Elizabeth Cushing '12 put two in scoring position again for Swarthmore with her fourth double of the young season, freshman Laurie Sellars recorded her first collegiate RBI with a grounder to short plating Pitkin to make the score 4-0.
That was more than enough for Lowe, who scattered five hits over her four innings of work while striking out three and inducing four comebackers to the mound.
Swarthmore tacked on two more runs in the bottom of the third as Aaron started the frame off with a single before advancing to second on a groundout. Pitkin drove her home with a long double to center and advanced to third on a fielding error. Cushing made the score 6-0 with a sacrifice fly.
The final three Garnet runs of the morning scored on the fourth. Speedy Samantha Bennett '13 singled to the pitcher's mound and stole second. Smayda recorded her second single of the day to left and stole second. With two in scoring position, Lammerts grounded to the right side to score one run and advance Smayda to third. Aaron grounded to deep short to score Smayda and Seltzer and Pitkin followed with a single and double to score the ninth run.
Freshman Chelsea Matzko, fresh off yesterday's collegiate debut, pitched a 1-2-3 fifth inning to secure the victory.
Melissa O'Connor '14 was given the ball for the second game of the day against King's College after going four no-hit innings on Monday. After striking out the leadoff hitter, O'Connor surrendered two walks and a double to center but didn't surrender any runs when one runner was caught stealing second and another was thrown out at home on a sensational 9-6-2 relay.
The Garnet opened the scoring in the bottom of the first. Smayda popped out to first after the homerun that wasn't. Lammerts followed with a walk and stole second with two outs. Seltzer took the empty base with a walk and Rose Pitkin drilled a grounder to left-center that scored two runs when it was misplayed by the leftfielder as Swarthmore jumped out 2-0.
The Monarchs answered right back off O'Connor. A pair of walks put runners on first and second with two outs and a line drive to the left field wall leveled the contest 2-2.
O'Connor continued to labor in the third. After striking out the lead-off hitter, a walk and back-to-back singles, helped by a fielding error, plated two more runs. O'Connor walked the bases loaded with two outs before escaping further trouble with her third strikeout.
Down 4-2, the Garnet struggled to come back, failing to record a hit in the second, third, or fourth.
Matzko returned in relief for Swarthmore replacing O'Connor in the fourth and cruising through her first two innings. The Monarchs tacked on a critical insurance run in the sixth on an infield single, a passed ball, a wild pitch, and a second infield single to make the score 5-2.
That set the stage for seventh inning drama for Swarthmore. Sellars led off the bottom of the seventh with a single to center and Smayda drove her to third with a long double over the centerfielder's head. Lammerts reached first on a throwing error by the King's third-baseman who was distracted by the alert base-running of Sellars, who danced off the base just far enough to force a double-clutch on the throw. As the throw tricked into right, Sellars scored and Smayda advanced to third. Aaron cut the deficit to one with an RBI groundout to second moving Lammerts into scoring position. But that was all the Garnet could muster as a two-out Pitkin drive was caught one step in front of the fateful right field pole.
The Garnet is now 3-1 and halfway through play at the Snowbird Tournament in Myrtle Beach. Swarthmore returns to the field on Wednesday with a morning tilt against Bluefield College (VA) and an afternoon affair with St. Joseph's (NY).