Red Devils Sweep Softball Behind Homa's Gems
SWARTHMORE, PA – Behind the dominant pitching of Chelsea Homa, who struck out 22 batters while starting both games of Saturday's doubleheader, the visiting Dickinson Red Devils swept a pair from the Swarthmore softball team on senior day at Clothier Field. After the Garnet pulled back to .500 on the year with offensive outbursts against Penn St.-Berks and Arcadia earlier in the week, the Swarthmore bats were held in check all day by Homa, who surrendered just eight hits and 3 unearned runs in the sweep. The Red Devils won the opener 1-0 and the nightcap 6-3.
The first game of the afternoon was the ultimate in pitcher's duels as sophomore Sarina Lowe matched Homa pitch for pitch. Lowe, who lowered her team-leading ERA under three with her performance on Saturday, scattered nine hits in the complete game while striking our three.
The Garnet had the first scoring threat of the game in the second inning when junior Danielle Seltzer singled up the middle and with one out, senior Elizabeth Cushing walked to put two on with one out. But a fielder's choice and strike-out quickly ended the threat.
Lowe allowed a one-out single in the first inning but the runner was erased with a double play and the sophomore was perfect in the second and third.
Lowe found her first trouble of the day in the fourth. The Red Devils loaded the bases with one out on three singles. The southpaw induced a groundball to short and Cushing fired home to get the lead runner for the second out of the inning and Carly Jordan grounded out to second to end the threat.
On the other side of the field, Homa became even more dominant as the game progressed, allowing just one baserunner after the third on a leadoff walk to Seltzer in the fourth inning. She struck out the side in the fifth and in the top of the sixth, Dickinson took the lead on a lead-off homerun from Erin Owens to straightaway centerfield.
Swarthmore had no answer at the plate. A pop-up, groundout and strikeout set the Garnet down in the sixth and Homa struck out two more in a 1-2-3 seventh to close out the victory.
Freshman Laurie Sellers had the only other hit in the game for Swarthmore on an infield single in the third inning.
Melissa O'Connor had the ball in Game 2 for the Garnet and she labored through her seven innings surrendering nine hits and walking eight.
Dickinson loaded the bases again in the third inning, this time with no outs, and this time, the Red Devils struck. After a strikeout for the first out of the inning, Jordan hit a grounder to second. Sellers fired home to try to get the force at the plate but the throw got away allowing two runs to score. A sacrifice fly plated the third run of the inning and a single through the right side with two outs scored Jordan from third for the 4-0 Dickinson lead.
The Red Devils increased their lead to five in the fifth as two singles and two walks, all with two outs, led to a run. They tacked on one more in the sixth on a homerun from Denise Haines.
Swarthmore finally broke through on Homa in their half of the sixth inning thanks in part to two Dickinson errors. Junior Kate Smayda led off with a single through the left side and Lammerts sacrificed her to second. Sophomore Nicole Aaron struck out for the second out and Seltzer struck out on a pitch in the dirt but was able to reach on a wild pitch and a throwing error by the catcher which also allowed Smayda to come in from third and give the Garnet its first run of the afternoon. Junior Rose Pitkin followed with a booming drive up the alley in right-center to score Seltzer and Cushing reached on a throwing error by the shortstop allowing Pitkin to score to make the score 6-3, the final in Game 2.