KISSIMMEE, Fla. – The University of Delaware softball team defeated Ball State, 6-5, and Robert Morris, 12-10, on Saturday as the Blue Hens picked up a pair of wins on the second day of the Citrus Classic.

In Delaware’s first game of the day, Maddi Marsh fired a key strikeout to end a Cardinals (10-5) threat in the top of the seventh, before the Blue Hens (3-9) pushed across the winning run in the bottom half. Leanna Gearhart laced a double with one out to ignite the rally, while Reyna de Jesus followed with a walk. One out later Anna Steinmetz walked to load the bases before Giovanna Kolofer drew a base on balls on a full count pitch, forcing home Gearhart with the winning run.

Ball State opened the scoring with a run in the top of the third inning, but Steinmetz quickly answered in the bottom half with a two-run homer, her team-leading third of the year. The Cardinals responded with three runs in the top of the fourth, before Mariah Kondravy doubled home Sarah Bessel and de Jesus scored on an error in the bottom half to knot the game at 4-4.

Ball State went back in front during the top of the fifth when Haley Dominique delivered an RBI double, while pinch runner Keiana Smith scored on a Cardinals error in the bottom of the inning to again bring Delaware even.

Kondravy finished 3 for 4 at the plate for the Blue Hens, including two doubles to set the UD career record with 48 two-baggers. Gearhart went 2 for 2 with two walks, while Steinmetz finished with two hits and two RBI. Marsh picked up her first career win in the circle after allowing just one unearned run on two hits in 3.1 innings of relief.

In Delaware’s second game of the day, the Blue Hens trailed Robert Morris 4-1 in the top of the third inning before pushing across five runs. Steinmetz drilled an RBI double to open the rally, while Kolofer followed with a two-run double of her own. Later in the frame two runs scored on an Alyshia Dellatore sacrifice fly to give UD a 6-4 lead.

After the Colonials (3-8) got a run back in the bottom half, Delaware countered with a four-spot in the top of the fourth. de Jesus knocked home the first run on a groundout, while Steinmetz singled home another run. After Mattie Nuccio worked a bases loaded walk, Dellatore hit another sacrifice fly to make it a 10-5 game.

Robert Morris got two runs back in the bottom of the sixth, but Gearhart singled home Nuccio and Sarah Coyne in the top of the seventh to increase the Blue Hens’ lead back to five. The Colonials drilled a two-run homer and a solo shot in the bottom half, but would not get closer as UD held on for the win.

Kondravy, Steinmetz and Nuccio all finished with a pair of hits for the Blue Hens, with Nuccio scoring three times and Dellatore driving home three.

Delaware vs. Binghamton (Kissimmee, Fla.) – March 4, 2018 (11:30 a.m.)
Delaware vs. Baylor (Lynchburg, Va.) – March 9, 2018 (12:30 p.m.)
Delaware at Liberty (Lynchburg, Va.) – March 9, 2018 (5:30 p.m.)

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