Blue Hens Rally For 4-3 Win Over George Mason in Nightcap After Dropping Twinbill Opener, 4-2
March 31, 2012
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Photo Courtesy of Mark Campbell
NEWARK, Del. -- Lara Andrews scored the game-winning run on a wild pitch in the bottom of the seventh inning as the University of Delaware softball team earned a doubleheader split with George Mason by taking the nightcap, 4-3, Saturday afternoon at the UD Softball Stadium.
The Patriots (9-24, 3-2 CAA) posted a 4-2 victory during the opener when Rachael Davies hit a two-run homer during the top of the seventh inning.
The Blue Hens (6-28-1, 2-3 CAA) took the early lead in the opener by pushing across a run during the bottom of the first inning without the benefit of a hit. Jessica Grisler led off with a walk, and after she was erased at second on a fielder’s choice bunt by Alicea Coy, Andrews (at right) worked a walk to put runners on first and second. After another fielder’s choice put runners on the corners with two outs, Coy scampered home from third on a wild pitch by George Mason starter Stephanie Maher.
However the Patriots answered right back in the top of the second as Katie Rynex led off with a single to left, moved to third on a pair of groundouts, and scored when Tiffany Webb dunked a shallow flyball in front of Blue Hen leftfielder Gina Knutson.
Mason looked to take the lead in the top of the sixth when Rynex led off with a walk and moved to second base with two outs, but Andrews made a sliding catch on a shot to center hit by Webb to keep the game knotted at 1-1.
Andrews then led off the bottom of the frame with a single up the middle, while pinch runner Maggie Creciun advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Michelle McKinnon. Following an infield single by Knutson that put runners on the corners, Creciun scored when Kaitlyn Breneman lined out to center to give Delaware a 2-1 advantage.
However the Patriots answered back with three runs in the top of the seventh to take the lead for good. Tori Dudley led off by getting hit by a pitch, and after she moved to second on a sacrifice bunt, she advanced to third on a passed ball. Brooke Blankenship then drilled a double into the gap in leftcenter, driving home Dudley to knot the game at 2-2. Emily Lafferty then singled to left, but Knutson threw out Blankenship at the plate.
But Davies followed by drilling a two-run homer over the leftfield fence to put the Patriots on top, while Mason starter Stephanie Maher then retired the Blue Hens in order during the bottom half to close out the victory.
Maher improved to 3-6 on the season after allowing two runs on three hits while striking out six for the Patriots, while UD starter Chenxi Jiao dropped to 1-14 after she gave up four earned runs on eight hits with five strikeouts.
Mason took the lead in the first inning of the nightcap when Dudley led off with a double to rightcenter, moved to third on a sacrifice bunt by Alyssa See, and scored on a wild pitch by Delaware pitcher Hannah Rust. The Patriots then added a pair of runs in the second when Megan Blank ripped an RBI double to rightcenter and then scored on a single up the middle by Dudley to make it a 3-0 game.
Delaware got on the board during the bottom of the third inning by pushing across a pair of runs. Creciun led off by reaching on an error by Davies at shortstop, and after Grisler walked, the runners moved to second and third on a sacrifice bunt by Coy. Andrews was then intentionally walked to load the bases, before McKinnon followed with a two-run single to left to bring the Blue Hens within a run.
Delaware looked to tie the game in the fifth when Andrews doubled to centerfield, but after Knutson singled to right with two outs, Andrews was thrown out at the plate by Blank as Mason maintained its one-run lead.
However the Blue Hens rallied to tie the game in the bottom of the sixth, as Marisa Newman and Rust each worked a one-out walk. Following a groundout by Morgan Culver that moved the runners to second and third, pinch runner Rachel Jones scored from third on a wild pitch by Patriots reliever Tiffany Harvell.
With one out in the bottom of the seventh, Andrews tripled to rightfield before McKinnon and Knutson were each intentionally walked to load the bases. Casey Herring then took over in the circle for Mason, but her third pitch got away from Lafferty, allowing Andrews to score the winning run.
Rust went the distance for the Blue Hens, allowing three runs, two earned, on seven hits while improving to 3-5 on the year. Harrell, who was charged with one earned run in one inning of relief, dropped to 1-3 for the Patriots.
Delaware and George Mason conclude their three-game series on Sunday with a 12 noon game at the UD Softball Stadium.Back To Softball Home Softball Story Archive