Blue Hens Post Comeback Victory in Extra Innings During Nightcap To Split Doubleheader With Towson
TOWSON, Md. -- The University of Delaware softball team rallied from a six-run deficit to post an 8-7 extra inning victory in the nightcap as the Blue Hens salvaged a Colonial Athletic Association doubleheader split with Towson Saturday afternoon at the Tiger Softball Complex.
Delaware, which is now 19-18 overall and 5-5 in the league, dropped the opener, 3-2, and found itself trailing 6-0 through two innings in the nightcap. However the Blue Hens exploded for five runs in the top of the fourth to get back in the game. Michelle McKinnon delivered a two-out, bases loaded single to drive home Giovanna Kolofer with the first run of the rally, before Heather Oakley drilled another single to left to score Sarah Bencivenga.
Jessica Grisler then cracked a double to right, clearing the bases to make it a 6-5 game before she was thrown out at third to end the frame.
Delaware was still down a run in the sixth, but Lisa Stacevicz led off with an infield single while two outs later Shelby Jones blasted a two-run homer to centerfield as the Blue Hens went in front 7-6. However the Tigers, who are now 19-17 overall and 1-4 in the CAA, immediately answered in the bottom half when Courtney Johnson led off with a triple to right scored on an RBI single by Nicole Delgado.
After both teams were scoreless in the seventh, McKinnon ripped a two-out single to left in the eighth and moved to second on a Towson error. Jones then delivered a single to center, driving home McKinnon with the go-ahead run. Towson put two runners on bases in the bottom of the frame, but UD pitcher Carolyn Szymanski got Missy McCormick to pop out to shortstop to end the game.
Szymanski bounced back from her rough start to pick up the win, as she improved to 11-9 despite allowing seven earned runs on 13 hits. McCormick took the loss and fell to 10-7 for the Tigers after she gave up three runs, two earned, in four innings of relief.
Grisler and Jones each had two hits and three RBI for the Blue Hens, Bencivenga added three hits, and Kolofer and McKinnon contributed two apiece.
Delaware took the lead in the opener when the Blue Hens pushed across two runs in the top of the second inning. Stacevicz laced a one-out double down the leftfield line, and after she moved to third on a single by Gabby Klecko, she crossed the plate when McKinnon cracked a single to right. Following a pop out Grisler singled up the middle, chasing home Klecko to give Delaware a two-run lead.
However Holiday Cahill drilled a leadoff homer in the third to put the Tigers on the board, while back-to-back shots by Maureen Hepner and McCormick in the fourth put Towson in front for good and knocked UD starter Kelly Lupton out of the game.
Meanwhile McCormick retired the final 12 batters of the game, winning her 10th game of the year after allowing two runs on seven hits. Lupton was charged with three runs on four hits in 3.1 innings of work and fell to 6-5, while Kiersten Coffman fired 2.2 scoreless frames of relief.
The Blue Hens and Tigers will play the rubber match of their three-game series on Sunday with a single game beginning at 1 p.m. at the Tiger Softball Complex.