WASHINGTON, D.C. – The University of Scranton won the nightcap of Saturday's Landmark Conference doubleheader at Catholic 4-3 in nine innings as the Royals and Cardinals split a pair of one-run games. Catholic (15-13, 5-5 Landmark) won the opener 2-1 before Scranton (17-5, 4-2 Landmark) rallied for the extra-inning victory in game two.
In Saturday's opener, the Cardinals scored a pair of runs in the third inning and made them stand in the 2-1 victory.
Catholic scored the game's first run on a Scranton error as the Cardinals attempted to steal with runners on the corners. The hosts then got a two-out RBI single to take a 2-0 lead.
Down to their final at-bats, Scranton attempted to rally in the seventh inning as Brianna Lehr (Byram Township, N.J./Pope John XXIII Regional) led off the inning with a triple and came home on a one-out single from Jennifer Sweeney (Dumont, N.J./Dumont). The Cardinals would get a fielder's choice followed by a pop out to end the game though.
Senior pitcher Morgan Rentzheimer (Allentown, Pa./Parkland) tied Sarah Rhodes with her 65th career start and tossed a strong game for the Royals, scattering five hits while striking out three batters. Rentzheimer needs just three more strikeouts to break Rhodes's all-time record of 334 career strikeouts set from 2001-2004.
Sweeney collected two of the Royals' four hits in the contest to go along with Lehr's pinch hit triple and a base hit from Anna Price (Bordentown, N.J./Bordentown Regional).
In Saturday's nightcap, Scranton was one out away from suffering its first doubleheader sweep setback of the spring before Sweeney sent the game into extra innings with her sixth home run of the season. The Royals would go on to post the 4-3 win in nine innings.
Catholic took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second on an RBI single before opening up a 3-0 advantage in the home fifth on a two-run base hit.
Maggie Donnelly (New Hyde Park, N.Y./Our Lady of Mercy Academy) came up with a big hit for Scranton in the top of the sixth, belting a two-run double down the right field line to cut the Royals' deficit to 3-2.
The Cardinals retired the first two Scranton batters in the seventh inning before Sweeney launched her sixth home run over the left field fence to tie the contest. The freshman now has five home runs in her last eight games and has hit at least one home run in five of the Royals' six doubleheaders this spring.
In the circle, Sweeney continued to excel as well, stranding the potential game-winning run at third base in both the bottom of the seventh and eighth innings before Price drove in Mackenzie Duffy (Wilkes-Barre, Pa./Lackawanna Trail) with what would stand as the game-winning run in the top of the ninth.
Sweeney allowed a one-out walk in the bottom of the ninth before getting the final two outs to secure the win, closing out a nine-inning complete game with six strikeouts and seven hits against to improve to 9-1 on the year.
Sweeney also finished with a game-high three hits while Price, Megan Zinn (Bridgewater, N.J./Bridgewater-Raritan), and Casey DeSarno (Wall Township, N.J./Wall) collected two hits apiece for the Royals.
Scranton will welcome Elizabethtown to Magis Field on Sunday for a Landmark Conference doubleheader starting at 12:00 p.m.