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Juniata softball splits Landmark opener with Drew

(Posted March 21, 2008)

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- Juniata College pounded out five runs on nine hits to post a 5-3 victory over Drew University, in the first game of the two teams' Landmark Conference softball doubleheader on Friday afternoon at Weis Field in Huntingdon, Pa. The Eagles (6-7, 1-1 Landmark) could not complete the sweep of the conference opener, as Rangers' starter April Jacobs held Juniata to just two hits while leading Drew to a 3-0 shutout against the Eagles. In the first game, Juniata broke open a scoreless game with three runs in the bottom of the fourth inning. Sarah Eckard (Hollidaysburg, Pa./Hollidaysburg) plated Juniata's first run with a single to left field that scored pinch runner Juliet Garlow (Silver Spring, Md./Montgomery Blair). The next batter, Tara Carl (Duke Center, Pa./Otto-Eldred) doubled to right-center, driving in both Eckard and Amanda Albanese (Hampton, N.J./North Hunterdon), who reached on a walk. The Eagles added one run in the fifth when Melissa Moffat (Oceanside, Calif./Oceanside) doubled home Caley McCool (Spring Mills, Pa./Penns Valley), and put up another run in the sixth when Carl got aboard with a double to right center and scored on Stacy Nagy's (Millerton, Pa./Troy) single to left-center. Drew (7-9, 1-1 Landmark) threatened the Juniata lead with three runs in the top of the seventh. Kerry Crowley punched a one-out single into left field, and scored when Nicole Gagliardi's single to right field was mishandled to allow Crowley to score and Gagliardi to reach third. Jillian Lusk's double to right-center drove in Gagliardi for a second Drew run, and Jesyka Marko's single to center plated Lusk. Juniata quashed the Drew rally when Cailin McGrorry grounded to shortstop, and the Eagles opted to get Marko who was trying to advance to third. Carl finished the game 3-for-4 at the plate with two RBI for the Eagles, while Eckard was 2-for-3. Juniata starter Alyssa Erb (Hollidaysburg, Pa./Hollidaysburg) scattered five hits while fanning six Ranger batters on her way to the complete game win. The Rangers were led by Marko, who was 2-for-3 at the plate. In game two, the Eagles were held to just a pair of hits, both flares off the bat of Jackie Morley (North Wales, Pa./Archbishop Wood) in the fifth and seventh innings. The Rangers jumped into the lead with two runs in the third inning. Nicole Spiotta doubled down the left field line with two outs, then scored on Crowley's single to right field for one Drew run. The Rangers added another later in the frame Megan Mesaros' single into left that plated Crowley. Kati Eggert singled home Marko with two outs in the fourth inning for Drew third run of the contest. Juniata starter Pam Mansell (Centre Hall, Pa./Penns Valley) struck out three Drew batters while allowing three runs on six hits, and was charged with the loss. Mansell was lifted in favor of Erb in the fifth inning; Erb pitched the remaining three innings and allowed one hit with a pair of strikeouts. Juniata will return to action on Tuesday, March 25, when it hosts Penn State-Altoona at 3:00 p.m. in Huntingdon. -30-

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Contact John Wall at wallj@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3132 for more information.