The University of Scranton softball team closed out its regular season on Sunday by splitting a non-conference doubleheader with DeSales at Magis Field. The Royals rebounded from an 8-6 setback in Sunday's opener with an 8-6 win of their own in the nightcap to finish the regular season with a 31-9 record.
The Royals are the #2 seed in the upcoming Landmark Conference Championships and will open double-elimination tournament on Friday.
Freshman Jennifer Sweeney (Dumont, N.J./Dumont) broke a Scranton single-season program record with her 16th pitching victory in Sunday's game two win, surpassing the previous mark of 15 set by Isabel Mendez in 2008.
In the first game of Sunday's doubleheader, Maggie Donnelly (New Hyde Park, N.Y./Our Lady of Mercy Academy) hit a game-tying, three-run home run in the bottom of the sixth inning, but DeSales responded with a two-run inside the park home run in the top of the seventh to pull out an 8-6 victory.
Anna Price (Bordentown, N.J./Bordentown Regional) gave the Royals a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first with a two-run single down the right field line, but the Bulldogs (14-14) got a run in the second and three more in the third to claim a 4-2 lead.
Price drove in Scranton's third run of contest with another RBI base hit in the home third to make it a one-run game, but DeSales plated two runs in the visitor's sixth to extend its advantage to 6-3.
Donnelly then connected on her first collegiate home run in the bottom half of the frame, a three-run shot into the bullpen in right field, with one out to pull Scranton level at 6-6.
Morgan Rentzheimer (Allentown, Pa./Parkland) got the first two outs of the top of the seventh before the Bulldogs put a runner on base with a single. Ciarrah Holmqvist then legged out a two-run inside the park on a ball that rolled to the wall in right field.
The Royals opened the bottom of the seventh with back-to-back of singles, but the Bulldogs got a pair of fielder's choice outs followed by a fly out to end the game.
Megan Zinn (Bridgewater, N.J./Bridgewater-Raritan) went 3-for-4 with two runs scored while Price and Donnelly added two hits and three RBI apiece in the game one setback.
Rentzheimer was charged with the loss after yielding seven earned runs on 10 hits while striking out five batters in the contest.
In Sunday's second contest, Scranton built a 7-0 lead over the first two innings and held off a comeback bid by DeSales to give Sweeney the record-breaking victory.
The Royals sent nine batters to the plate in the bottom of the first, plating five runs on three hits, two walks, and one error by the Bulldogs. Sweeney laced an RBI double off the left field fence to open the scoring before Rentzheimer roped a bases-clearing, three-run double to the alley in right center. Rentzheimer would come around to score a DeSales error to give Scranton a 5-0 advantage.
The hosts added two more runs the following inning as Mackenzie Duffy (Wilkes-Barre, Pa./Lackawanna Trail) crossed the plate as Sweeney was thrown out stealing second before Casey DeSarno (Wall Township, N.J./Wall) doubled home Price to stretch the lead to 7-0.
The Bulldogs stormed back with six runs on six hits over the fourth and fifth innings, but Scranton closed out the scoring in the bottom of the fifth as Brianna Lehr (Byram Township, N.J./Pope John XXIII Regional) drove in Rentzheimer with a single to center.
Sweeney went the distance in the circle to improve to 16-3 on the spring while surrendering six runs on seven hits while striking out four batters.
Price went 3-for-4 at the dish with Duffy, Sweeney, and Rentzheimer each adding two hits apiece. Rentzheimer also drove in a game-high three runs with a pair of doubles for the Royals, who outhit the Bulldogs 12-7 in the contest.
Scranton will open the Landmark Conference Championships on Friday against Susquehanna. First pitch between the Royals and River Hawks is scheduled for 1:00 p.m. at Moravian, which will host the double-elimination tournament.
For complete information and game schedule for the 2018 Landmark Conference Softball Championships, click here.