Delaware Falls To Army, 4-2, Before Posting 12-4 Win Over Host Spartans at Norfolk State Spartan Classic
March 3, 2013
File Photo Courtesy of Mark Campbell
• Army-Delaware Box / PDF
• Delaware Norfolk State Box / PDF
NORFOLK, Va. -- The University of Delaware softball team dropped its first game on Sunday to Army, 4-2, before responding with a 12-4 comeback win over the host Spartans in the nightcap as the Blue Hens concluded play at the Norfolk State Spartan Classic.
During the Blue Hens’ opener, the Black Knights (2-5) jumped on top in the top of the third inning by pushing across three runs. Ali Cleinmark led off with a double, while Christian McKone reached on an error to put runners on the corners with nobody out. Amanda Nguyen then reached on an error that allowed Cleinmark to score, while McKone crossed the plate when April Ortenzo legged out a bunt single. Kasey McCravey then laced a single to centerfield, driving home Nguyen to make it a 3-0 game.
The Blue Hens (10-3) quickly answered during the bottom half, as Hannah George led off with a double down the leftfield line and Jessica Grisler (at right) singled to left to put runners on first and third. One out later Michelle McKinnon hit a sacrifice fly to drive home George, while Grisler crossed the plate on an infield single by Tori Conrad.
Army added an insurance run when McCravey led off the top of the fifth with a solo homer to left, making it a 4-2 game. Delaware looked to answer during the bottom of the fifth, but after Grisler led off with a single and Lara Andrews walked, McKinnon popped into a triple play. The Blue Hens would only be able to muster a walk from Lisa Stacevicz the rest of the way, as their three-game winning streak was snapped.
Black Knights pitcher Morgan Lashley went the distance for Army, allowing two earned runs on five hits while improving to 2-5 on the year. UD starter Chenxi Jiao fell to 2-2 after giving up four runs, two earned, on nine hits in six innings, while Taylor Curran allowed two hits during a scoreless seventh.
Delaware’s second game of the day remained scoreless until the bottom of the fourth inning, when Norfolk State (4-6) scored the first two runs of the contest. Alina Moriarty led off with a double to rightcenter, and one out later a single by Haley Ward put runners on second and third. UD starting pitcher Kiersten Coffman then got Melina Valles to ground out to third, but Gipsy Ramirez followed with a two-run single to center to put the Spartans on the board.
Norfolk State maintained its two-run lead until the top of the sixth, when the Blue Hens exploded for five runs to take the lead. McKinnon opened the frame with a double to rightcenter, while Gina Knutson followed by blasting a two-run homer to rightcenter to knot the contest at 2-2.
Conrad then singled to shortstop, and after Kaitlyn Breneman legged out a bunt single, Stephanie Wheatley replaced Norfolk State starter Jamie Schulle in the circle. Wheatley immediately got Gabby Klecko to pop out on a bunt attempt, but Stacevicz followed with a single up the middle to plate Conrad and give Delaware the lead. One out later Stacevicz scored on a wild pitch, while Grisler capped the rally by driving a single into left to chase home George.
The Spartans would answer right back, as two-out RBI singles by Kathy Cortez and Liz Riley cut the Blue Hens’ lead to a single run. But Coffman then got Heather Dunning to bounce into a fielder’s choice to keep UD in front.
Delaware then put the game away with seven runs in the top of the seventh. McKinnon scored the first run of the frame when Breneman reached on an error, while Stacevicz delivered a two-run single to make it an 8-4 game. After George reached on an error to load the bases, Grisler drilled a grand slam to rightcenter to close the scoring.
Coffman was charged with four earned runs on nine hits while striking out eight batters and walking none as she improved to 4-0 on the year. Schulle fell to 4-5 for Norfolk State after she allowed four earned runs on seven hits in five innings of work. McKinnon finished the second game 4 for 5 with a pair of runs scored for the Blue Hens, while Grisler added two hits and five RBI.
Delaware will head right back to the Norfolk region next weekend with four games at the Lady Pirate Classic hosted by Hampton University, including Friday’s 12 noon opener against Canisius.
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