SCRANTON - Sophomore Jennifer Sweeney (Dumont, N.J./Dumont) tossed a two-hit shutout in game one to lead The University of Scranton softball team to a 2-0 victory in the first game of a Landmark Conference doubleheader against Catholic on Saturday at Magis Field.
Catholic, however, held off a late Scranton rally to take a 6-5 win in game two of the double-dip. With the split, Scranton moved to 16-6 overall and 3-1 in the Landmark Conference, while Catholic went to 9-11 and 4-2 in the Landmark with the results.
Game One: Scranton 2, Catholic 0 | Box Score
In the first game of the afternoon, Sweeney put together one of her best performances of the year, as all the Royals needed were a pair of runs in the bottom of the third inning to pull past Catholic in a two-run win.
The decisive third inning for Scranton saw the Royals score both of their runs with two outs, as freshman Jessica Indelicato (Bethlehem, Pa./Bethlehem Catholic) roped an RBI double that scored pinch runner sophomore Ryann Kemmerling (Quakertown, Pa./Quakertown Community) to crack a scoreless tie. Up 1-0, senior Megan Zinn (Bridgewater, N.J./Bridgewater-Raritan) came up next and knocked home Indelicato on an RBI single, giving the Royals a 2-0 lead.
That was all the run support Sweeney would need on the day, but the game didn't end without some drama in the top of the seventh for Catholic.
There, the Cardinals loaded the bases up with two outs after Sweeney walked three batters. But, the sophomore got out the jam, forcing a foul out to first base to end the game and give the Royals a two-run victory.
Overall in game one, Indelicato was Scranton's lone player to reach base twice, as she went 2-for-3 with an RBI and a run scored.
It as indeed a pitchers duel between the winner Sweeney (7-3) and the hard-luck loser Catholic's Sabrina Scott (5-6) all game. Sweeney recorded the win after allowing just two hits while striking out four to record her first complete game shutout victory of the year. Scott, meanwhile, allowed just six hits and struck out one in the loss for the Cardinals.
Game Two: Catholic 6, Scranton 5 | Box Score
In the second game, Catholic jumped out to a 3-1 lead in the top of the sixth inning and appeared to have the game sewed up after putting across three runs in the top of the seventh to take a 6-1 lead into the bottom half of the frame.
Down by five runs, the Royals clawed their way back in it against Catholic starter Claire Sturek in the bottom of the seventh, scoring all of their runs with two outs already on the board.
After Scranton's next batter was struck by a pitch to load the bases, Zinn knocked everyone home on a three RBI, bases-clearing double to slice the Catholic lead to a single run at 6-5.
With the tying run at second, Sweeney came up as the game-winning run. Unfortunately for the Scranton, Sturek struck out Sweeney to end the game, clinching the win and the split of the doubleheader for Catholic in the process.
Overall in the defeat, three players had two hits, apiece for Scranton - Duffy (2-for-4, one RBI and one run scored), Zinn (2-for-4 with three RBI and a run scored), and freshman Heather Alich (Bath, Pa./Northampton Area) (2-for-3, one RBI).
In the circle, sophomore Meaghan Dowdell (Parlin, N.J./Old Bridge) suffered the defeat (9-2) after allowing three runs on six hits in five and two-thirds of work. Dowdell also struck out four in the victory, as well.
Off-the-field on the day, the Royals softball program also raised over $500 for the Brain Injury Association of America, as Scranton hosted a Brain Injury Awareness game on the afternoon against the Cardinals.
The University of Scranton softball team returns to action on Monday, as they travel to King's for a non-conference doubleheader that begins at 5 p.m.