Softball swept in doubleheader Saturday

Category:  Sports
Wednesday, April 11th, 2018 at 6:15 PM

Three weeks since their last game in Clermont, Florida over spring break, the Edinboro women’s softball team finally returned to action, losing both games of a doubleheader at Seton Hill University on April 5. Edinboro fell 3-1 in the first game and 5-0 in the nightcap.

The two losses started Edinboro’s PSAC record at 0-2 while their overall mark fell to 3-11 for the year. The Griffins improved to 11-6 overall and 3-1 in conference play.

Carley Nasca turned in a quality start for the Fighting Scots in the first game, giving up three runs (two earned) while striking out three in a complete game effort. She took the loss but lowered her ERA to 3.75. 

Head Softball Coach Dan Gierlak said Nasca pitched well, but Edinboro’s offense didn’t put enough pressure on Seton Hill’s defense.

“Carley pitched good enough to win,” he said. “We didn’t make it tough on them. We were hitting defensively too many times instead of going out there and attacking the ball like we’re capable of doing.”

Edinboro’s lone run came in the top of the fifth inning with two outs. After two Fighting Scots were retired to start the inning, catcher Roni Lipinski doubled to left field. When Jessica Little followed with a single to left field, Lipinski rounded third and scored.

Little advanced to second base when the Griffins tried to nab Lipinski at home and was replaced by pinch runner Abby Sallot, but Cheyenne Bothun grounded out to end the threat.

“Roni had a great game. Roni had been struggling down south; [she] put a little too much pressure on herself. She started to really come in and get the extra swings in,” Gierlak said of Lipinski.

The two Edinboro hits in the fifth inning were the only hits Seton Hill’s Devyn Terry gave up in the game. She lowered her ERA to 2.20 in her seventh complete game, improving her record to 5-5. 

“[Terry] is a very good player,” Gierlak said. “Against good pitchers, it’s okay to be defensive in the first inning until you see her a few times, and then now we know what she’s doing, let’s go attack it. We didn’t attack it like we needed to.”

Terry also hit for herself as the Griffins elected to have their designated hitter bat for their first baseman. She helped her cause by scoring on a passed ball in the second inning.

After weeks of bad weather in the region, including bad weather on campuses of rival PSAC schools, Edinboro was forced to postpone four doubleheaders. 

“I think all the kids were a little nervous,” Gierlak said. “It was like our first game all over again.” 

Skyla Greco led the Griffins in the second game, shutting out the Fighting Scots while striking out three and only surrendering five hits. She improved to 2-2 on the season with a 2.14 ERA, the best on Seton Hill’s staff.

Edinboro needed two pitchers to get through the game. Amanda Metz took the loss after giving up five runs (four earned), but did not walk a batter in her less than four innings of work. She has the fewest walks of the three main pitchers on the ‘Boro staff.

Gierlak said Metz’s outing was marred by a few mistakes that overshadowed an otherwise strong performance. He emphasized the team’s lack of playing time this season and how it added to the difficulty of rallying late in the contest.

“Amanda gave up a three-run home run, [and] made a mistake on a pitch that she normally doesn’t make,” he said.

Kerri Stevens relieved Metz with two outs in the fourth and finished off the game without surrendering a run. She struck out three and gave up three hits.

Seton Hill was led by Brooke Bower, who went 2-for-3 with a home run and two stolen bases in the game. In the first inning, she singled with a bunt. Lipinski narrowly threw Bower out stealing second, but the ball was mishandled, allowing Bower to advance safely. After moving over to third on a fielder’s choice, she stole home to give the Griffins their first run. She is 5-for-5 this season stealing bases.

Gierlak had glowing praise for Bower, Terry, and the rest of the Griffins’ stacked lineup.

“They’ve got a kid (Bower) that just flat out can run. We kept her off base most of the day, and then she got on base late and we had an opportunity — Roni threw her out and we dropped the ball,” Gierlak said. “And little things like that, you can’t let happen against a good team like Seton Hill.”

The Fighting Scots host doubleheaders against Gannon University on Friday and Seton Hill Saturday. Friday’s first game is scheduled to begin at 2:30 p.m., followed by the second game at 4:30 p.m. Saturday’s games are scheduled for 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.

Christopher Rosato Jr. can reached at sports.spectator@gmail.com.

Tags: softball

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