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Late Inning Troubles Down Softball

(Posted March 31, 2007)

HUNTINGDON, Pa. - The Juniata College softball team played even with visiting Widener University through the first three innings of each game of its conference doubleheader Saturday afternoon, but in both games the final innings belonged to the visitors as the Eagles dropped 9-0 and 8-1 decisions to Widener in Commonwealth Conference action. Game one started out as a pitcher\'s duel between Juniata (4-8, 0-4 Commonwealth) starter Alyssa Erb (Hollidaysburg/Hollidaysburg) and Widener\'s (16-6, 2-2 Commonwealth) Mallory Meyer but the game turned in the Pride\'s favor in the fourth inning. Erb cruised through the first three innings, holding Widener hitless. But the Pride bats came alive in the top of the fourth. A double from Krista Cesarine was the first hit for the Pride, and Rachel O\'Leary followed with an RBI single to put the visitors in front 1-0. Stephanie Caulford then launched a two-run home run to left, giving the Pride a 3-0 edge. The visitors added to the lead with two more runs in the top of the fifth. An RBI triple from Ashlee Hutchins brought home the first run and Cesarine singled her in to put Widener in front 5-0. The Pride added four more runs in the top of the sixth, with three hits and a pair of errors from Juniata contributing to the big inning. Meyer had an RBI single in the inning. Erb went all six innings, allowing nine runs, six earned, on nine hits. Liz Schmitt (H. Frank Carey/Franklin Square, N.Y.) and Rachel Nagy (Nazareth/Nazareth) each had one hit for the Eagles. Meyer earned the complete-game win by holding the Eagles to a pair of hits and no runs while striking out five. Cesarine and Steph Connolly each had a pair of hits for the visitors. Game two was a similar story as the two teams were scoreless through three innings before the visitors broke through again in the fourth. Kim Dougherty knocked a double off the leftfield wall to push home the first run of the game, and then a wild pitch brought home the second run to put Widener up 2-0. The Pride pushed across three more in the fifth. Cesarine doubled home the first run of the inning and then O\'Leary followed with an RBI single. A groundout brought home the fifth run. Juniata broke through with a run in the bottom of the fifth. Sarah Eckard (Hollidaysburg/Hollidaysburg) singled with two outs, moved to second on a wild pitch, and then came home on a single from Tara Carl (Otto-Eldred/Duke Center). Widener got the run back and added one more in the top of the sixth. Meyer singled home a run, and a sacrifice bunt from Hutchins put Widener on top 7-1. The Pride capped the scoring when Caulford tripled with one out and scored on a groundout in the top of the seventh Elsann Machotka (South Regional/Manahawkin, N.J.) suffered the loss for Juniata as she allowed five runs on eight hits over five innings. Offensively, five difference players had hits for the Eagles, with Carl notching the only RBI. Dougherty pitched the second complete game of the day for Widener as she allowed one run on five hits over seven innings and struck out seven. O\'Leary and Caulford both had two hits on the game to lead the Widener attack. Juniata will be back in action on Monday when the Eagles hit the road to face non-conference opponent Mount Aloysius. ###

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