Blue Hens Take Home Opener With 15-6 Victory Over Norfolk State Friday at Delaware Spring Invitational
March 15, 2013
file photo courtesy of Mark Campbell
• Norfolk State-Hartford Boxscore | PDF
• Norfolk State-Delaware Boxscore | PDF
• Hartford-Villanova Boxscore | PDF
NEWARK, Del. -- The University of Delaware softball team scored in all but one inning as the Blue Hens erased a three-run deficit to post a 15-6 five-inning victory over Norfolk State Friday on the opening day of the Delaware Spring Invitational.
Delaware, which improved to 15-3 while posting its highest run total since a 20-2 win over Saint Joseph’s on March, 20, 1999, jumped on top of the Spartans by scoring an unearned run during the bottom of the first inning. Jessica Grisler led off with an infield single, and after she moved to third with one out, she scored when Marisa Newman dropped down a squeeze bunt and the throw to the plate by Norfolk State pitcher Jamie Schulle got past catcher Kathy Cortez.
However the Spartans, who fell to 6-14 on the season, answered back in the top of the second when Chelsea Davis led off with a walk and eventually scored on a wild throw to third base by Newman. Norfolk State then grabbed the lead in the third when Alina Moriarty drilled a three-run homer to center, giving the Spartans a 4-1 cushion.
But Delaware, which won its sixth consecutive game, would answer right back in the bottom of the third inning by scoring four times to take the lead. Grisler and Lara Andrews opened the frame with singles, while Michelle McKinnon (at right) laced a double to rightfield to drive home both runners and pull the Blue Hens within a run. Later in the frame Lisa Stacevicz singled to rightcenter to chase home pinch runner Gina Knutson, while Gabby Klecko legged out an infield single to drive home Tori Conrad.
Kiersten Coffman replaced UD starter Taylor Curran in the circle for the Blue Hens in the fourth, but she allowed the tying run when Haley Ward delivered a bases loaded single up the middle. However Coffman then struck out Heather Dunning and Morgan Boyd to avoid further damage.
The Blue Hens then took control during the bottom of the frame, quickly loading the bases on singles by Grisler, Andrews and McKinnon. Newman followed with a sacrifice fly to center as the Blue Hens went back in front for good, before Conrad drove home another run with a groundout to second. Stacevicz followed with a double to left as McKinnon crossed the plate, while Mary O’Reilly singled to left to drive home Stacevicz and make it a 9-5 game.
Moriarty led off the top of the fifth with her second home run of the contest, cutting Norfolk State’s deficit to three, but Delaware then put the game away with a six-run outburst in the bottom half. Newman ripped an RBI single to center to ignite the rally, while Conrad followed with a run-scoring single of her own to increase the margin to 11-6. Following an infield single by Stacevicz that allowed Newman to score, Shelby Jones hit a sinking line drive to rightfield. The Spartans’ Marjorie Pettitt made a diving stab but could not come up with the catch and the ball rolled all the way to the fence, allowing Jones to circle the bases for a three-run homer and ending the game due to the mercy rule.
McKinnon finished 4 for 4 with two runs scored and an RBI to lead the 17-hit Blue Hen attack, while Grisler was 3 for 4 with three runs scored. Stacevicz also went 3 for 4 with three RBI and a pair of runs scored, while Andrews added two hits and crossed the plate three times.
Coffman allowed two earned runs on four hits in two innings of relief as she improved to 6-0 on her rookie campaign, while Curran got a no decision after giving up four runs, three earned, on three hits in the opening three frames. Spartans pitcher Liz Riley, who was charged with seven runs, six earned, on eight hits in two innings of work, fell to 1-5 on the season.
Hartford defeated Norfolk State, 3-2, in the first game of the invitational, while Villanova topped the Hawks, 6-3, in the third and final game of the day. The tournament continues with four games on Saturday, as Delaware and Hartford will kick off the day with a 9 a.m. contest at the Delaware Softball Stadium.
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