Blue Hens Rally To Tie Delaware State, 5-5 in Nightcap Following 3-0 Loss in Opener in Route 1 Rivalry Softball Doubleheader
March 21, 2012
• Game 1 Boxscore
• Game 2 Boxscore
NEWARK, Del. -- The University of Delaware softball team rallied from two runs down in the bottom of the sixth inning to tie Delaware State, 5-5, in the nightcap after the Hornets took the opener, 3-0, as the Blue Hens and Hornets renewed the Route 1 Rivalry Wednesday afternoon at the UD Softball Stadium.
The opener remained scoreless until the top of the seventh inning, when the Hornets (7-11-1) had their first two batters retired before exploding for three runs. Leslie Pleasanton ignited the rally with a double off the leftfield fence, and she scored when Chelsea Stern dunked a flyball into shallow left that barely eluded a dive by Blue Hen leftfielder Maggie Creciun. Jordan Reid then lined a single to center to drive home Stern, while Tawny Reeger followed with a double inside the leftfield line to chase home Reid.
Hornets relief pitcher Stephanie Sarris walked UD pinch hitter Brittney Noons to open the bottom of the seventh, but she then retired the next three Blue Hens to close out the victory. Saris improved to 5-3 after tossing three innings of hitless relief, while DSU starter Casey Beighley scattered two hits and four walks in the opening four frames.
Delaware starter Chenxi Jiao dropped to 1-9 after giving up three earned runs on seven hits in 6.2 innings, while Jess Grisler and Marisa Newman had the two Blue Hen hits.
UD (4-23-1) opened the scoring in the nightcap during the bottom of the second inning by pushing across an unearned run. Noons led off by reaching on an error, and after pinch runner Creciun stole third, she came around to score when the throw by Hornets catcher Rachel Carroll went into leftfield.
The Blue Hens added a run during the third when Lara Andrews was hit by a pitch with two outs and came around score when Michelle McKinnon laced a double into the gap in leftcenter.
The Hornets rallied back in the top of the fourth, as Reeger led off with a double off the leftfield fence and two outs later Carroll worked a walk. After Carroll stole second, Kelsey Doherty delivered a two-run single up the middle to knot the contest at 2-2.
However Delaware went right back in front during the bottom of the frame as Gina Knutson (at right) led off with a single to left, moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Newman, and scored on a single up the middle by pinch hitter Morgan Culver.
But Delaware State answered right back in the fifth, as Stephanie Martello delivered a two-run single to right and then came around to score on a single to left by Beighley.
The Hornets carried their 5-3 lead until the bottom of the sixth, when the Blue Hens pushed across a pair of runs to tie the game. Knutson led off with a single up the middle, and after Newman walked, Sarris took over in the circle for Delaware State. However UD pinch hitter Kaitlyn Breneman greeted her by drilling a pich to the fence in leftfield, driving home Knutson and moving pinch runner Rachel Jones to third. Beighley then replaced Sarris in the circle, and after she got Brianna Jennings to line out to left, Jones crossed the plate when Jess Grisler grounded out to second. Beighley then retired Alicea Coy on a flyout to center, and the game was called due to darkness.
Hannah Rust started for Delaware and gave up five earned runs on seven hits in 4.2 innings of work, while Jennings tossed 1.1 frames of scoreless relief. Knutson led the Blue Hen attack by finishing 2 for 3 with a pair of runs scored.
Delaware opens Colonial Athletic Association play on Saturday with a 12 noon doubleheader at Towson.
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