SCRANTON - Sophomore Heather Alich (Bath, Pa./Northampton Area) had two RBI's in each game, while junior Jennifer Sweeney (Wind Gap, Pa./Dumont) collected a win and a save in the pitching circle, as The University of Scranton softball team opened their 2020 season in style Sunday, taking two games from NYU by scores of 9-1 (in five innings) and 9-5.
Game One - Scranton 9, NYU 1 - Box Score
In the opening game of the season, NYU was first to strike, tallying a run off of Sweeney in the top of the first to take a 1-0 lead early on Scranton.
After holding the lead through the first two innings, Scranton attacked in the third, capitalizing big time on a few miscues by NYU.
With the bases loaded and one out, senior Megan Zinn (Bridgewater, N.J./Bridgewater-Raritan) collected an RBI on an error, scoring fellow senior Casey DeSarno (Wall Township, N.J./Wall) from third on the play to tie the game up at 1-1.
After an out, up came Alich, who slapped a two-RBI single to center that was misplayed by NYU's center fielder. The miscue (in which Alich's batted ball rolled all the way to the outfield wall) enabled Zinn to score and Alich to advance all the way to third, giving Scranton a 4-1 lead in the process.
After a quiet top of the fourth by NYU. Scranton put the Violets away for game one with a five-run outburst in the bottom of the frame in which they scored four runs with two outs.
With one away, DeSarno got the scoring started with an RBI single that plated freshman pinch runner Amanda Musmanno ( Princeton Junction, N.J./West Windsor Plainsboro North) from second to make it a 5-1 game. After an out, junior pinch hitter Allie Hotchkiss (Baldwinsville, N.Y./Charles W. Baker) singled through the right side to score DeSarno to make it a 6-1 contest.
Scranton final three runs came via NYU mistakes, as Zinn and Hotchkiss scored on an NYU error to make it an 8-1 game, then Sweeney (who reached base on the error that scored Zinn and Hotchkiss) came home on a wild pitch to make it a 9-1 ledger.
Up by eight and only needing three outs to end the game, Sweeney did just that in the top of the fifth, clinching the first win of the year for Scranton after forcing a pop out with a runner on base and two away.
Overall, Alich went 2-for-3 with two RBI in the win, while Zinn scored two runs and added an RBI. DeSarno was 1-for-1 with an RBI and two runs scored. In the pitching circle, Sweeney (1-0) allowed just one run on three hits, while striking out four to earn her first victory of the year.
Game Two - Scranton 9, NYU 5 - Box Score
In the second game, Scranton jumped out to an 8-1 lead after two innings and never looked back to clinch the doubleheader sweep with a four-run victory.
After a scoreless top of the first for NYU, Scranton racked up four runs in the bottom of the frame to take a quick 4-0 lead.
With the bases loaded and one out, Alich collected another RBI, this time on a sacrifice fly that scored freshman Jenna Davida (Congers, N.Y./Clarkstown North) to put Scranton ahead, 1-0. The Royals then used their patience at the plate to score two more runs, as after a walk loaded the bases, junior Maggie Donnelly (New Hyde Park, N.Y./Our Lady of Mercy) and DeSarno forced back-to-back walks to make it a 3-0 game and collect RBI's.
With two away and the bases still loaded, freshman Lauren Cawley (Duryea, Pa./Scranton Prep) knocked home fellow freshman Isabella Gorzkowski (Pittston, Pa./Scranton Prep) to make it a 4-0 game. Then, NYU committed an error on an at-bat by another freshman Alyssa Segnello (Flanders, N.J./Mount Olive), scoring Donnelly to make it a 5-0 contest.
In the second, NYU scored in the top half to make it a 5-1 game, the Royals attacked back in the bottom of the inning with three straight extra base hits to increase the lead.
After Zinn reached on a lead-off single, Sweeney smacked an RBI triple, giving Scranton a 6-1 lead. Alich then smacked an RBI double to right to make it a 7-1 game, which was followed up by an RBI single by Gorzkowski to give the Royals an 8-1 lead after two innings.
NYU, however, attacked back, scoring four runs in the top of the third to slice the Scranton lead down to 8-5. But, this was the closest the Violets came to the Royals' lead the rest of the game, as sophomore reliever Kira Livezey (Pottstown, Pa./Pottsgrove) and Sweeney kept NYU off the scoreboard for the next four innings.
Scranton's final run came in the fifth, as Gorzkowski finished a strong game with another RBI single that scored Sweeney, as the four-run lead was more than enough for Scranton to hold over the final two innings to complete the doubleheader sweep.
Overall, Cawley led the offense in the win, going 3-for-4 with an RBI, while Sweeney was 2-for-3 with an RBI and three runs scored. Gorzkowski was 2-for-3 with two RBI and a run scored, while Alich was 1-for-3 with two RBI and a run scored.
In the circle, Livezey tossed one and two-thirds of shutout relief to earn the win, allowing just one hit, while Sweeney earned the save after tossed two and a third of shutout ball, also allowing just one hit.
The University of Scranton softball team returns to action on Wednesday, taking on Wesleyan in a single game at Magis Field. First pitch is set for 4 p.m.