Blue Hens Battle CAA-Leading Hofstra Tough But Drop Doubleheader To Pride, 2-1 and 7-1
April 2, 2011
File Photos Courtesy of Mark Campbell
• Game 1 Boxscore
• Game 2 Boxscore
HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. -- The University of Delaware softball team battled Colonial Athletic Association leader Hofstra twice but dropped a conference doubleheader to the Pride, 2-1 and 7-1, Saturday afternoon at the HU Softball Stadium.
The opener remained scoreless until the bottom of the third inning when Hofstra, which increased its winning streak to 12 while improving to 21-8 overall and 5-0 in the CAA, pushed across a pair of runs. With one out Michelle Lavagnino singled to second base, and after she advanced to second on a wild pitch by UD starter Hannah Rust, Jess Hirschbuhl walked to put runners on first and second. Tessa Ziemba then singled into left to drive home Lavagnino with the first run of the contest, while Hirschbuhl crossed the plate when Sara Michalowski followed with a double to right field.
Rust would settle down from there, however, retiring Trisha Dreslinski on a lineout to third and striking out Laura Valentino looking to avoid further damage.
After going down in order during each of the first three innings, the Blue Hen offense sprung to life in the fourth. Jenny Richards (at right) led off with a single to left field, and she moved to second when Michelle McKinnon (at left) legged out a bunt single. After a sacrifice bunt by Lara Andrews moved the runners to second and third Hofstra pitcher Olivia Galati struck out Amanda Stacevicz, but Gina Knutson followed with an RBI single to second base as Delaware cut the Pride lead in half.
Hofstra looked to get the run right back in the bottom of the fourth, as Rust hit D.J. Slugh with a pitch to open the frame. But Stacevicz then replaced Rust in the circle for Delaware, and after allowing a bunt single to Krista Thorn, she retired the next three Pride batters to keep the margin at one.
However Galati would take over from there by retiring the Blue Hens in order during the final three innings, including striking out the side in the seventh, as Hofstra held on for the victory. Galati, who improved to 13-5 on the season, allowed one earned run on three hits while striking out 12 and not walking a batter. Rust dropped to 0-5 for the Blue Hens after giving up two earned runs on six hits in three innings of work, while Stacevicz allowed just one hit and no walks with two strikeouts in three frames of scoreless relief.
Delaware, which dropped to 10-23 overall and 2-3 in the conference, looked to strike first during the nightcap as the Blue Hens loaded the bases when Knutson reached on an error followed by walks to Brittney Noons and Michelle Grap. However Hofstra pitcher Erin Wade retired Bertie Lake on a flyout to center as the game remained scoreless.
The Blue Hens then used some spectacular defense during the bottom of the frame to keep the Pride off the scoreboard. Michalowski led off by drilling a pitch to deep right field, but Rachel Jones made an incredible over-the-shoulder catch for the first out. Hofstra eventually loaded the bases with two outs before Rachael Senatore hit a line drive to shallow center, but Andrews made a diving stab to end the inning.
Delaware then took the lead in the top of the third when Richards led off with a double to left center, moved to third on a sacrifice bunt by McKinnon, and scored on a perfect squeeze bunt single by Andrews. The Blue Hens opened the fourth with infield singles by Jones and Noons, but Wade retired the next three batters to keep Hofstra’s deficit at one.
The Pride then took control in the bottom of the fifth, as Hofstra loaded the bases when Senatore walked, Galati was hit by a pitch and Hirschbuhl reached on an error by Blue Hen shortstop Becky Ellis. Delaware lefthander Kathleen Conway then struck out Ziemba looking for the first out of the inning but Michalowski followed with a double into the right centerfield gap, chasing home all three runners to put Hofstra in front, 3-1. Dreslinski then doubled and Valentino walked to again load the bases, but Anne Marie Pagano took over in the circle and immediately got Thorn to pop out to second.
However Slugh followed with a single to left center, driving home Michalowski and Dreslinski to make it a 5-1 game. Michalowski then added a two-run homer in the bottom of the sixth to close the scoring.
Delaware looked to piece together a final rally in the seventh when McKinnon and Andrews each singled with one out, but Wade retired Stacevicz on a lineout to right and struck out Knutson to close the door.
Wade moved to 8-3 on the year after allowing one run on eight hits, while Conway took the loss for UD and dropped to 2-7 as she was charged with five runs, just two earned, on two hits in 2.2 innings of work.
McKinnon finished 3 for 3 during the game, while Andrews was 2 for 3 with an RBI. Richards, who scored both Blue Hen runs on the day, went 1 for 4 and increased her current hitting streak to nine games.
Delaware and Hofstra conclude their weekend series on Sunday with a single game beginning at 12 noon at the HU Softball Stadium.Back To Softball Home Softball Story Archive