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Softball takes split out of twinbill versus LaRoche College, Wentworth

(Posted March 9, 2010)

SURFSIDE BEACH, S.C. -- Juniata College softball amassed 16 runs over both ends of a doubleheader but came away with just one win on day two of its spring break slate of games in South Carolina.

Juniata opened the day by allowing three runs in the top of the ninth and dropped a 9-6 decision in nine innings to LaRoche College, at the City of Surfside Beach's H. Blue Huckabee Recreation Complex. The Eagles rebounded to take game two of the doubleheaders by pounding out 10 runs on 12 hits in a 10-2 triumph in five innings over Wentworth Institute of Technology.

Senior Stacy Nagy (Millerton, Pa./Troy) pitched Juniata (3-1) to the victory over Wentworth, scattering three hits while striking out five Leopard batters. She pitched three-and-a-third innings of no-hit ball to open the game, finally losing the no-no in the fourth on a Lizz Harvey RBI double.

The Eagles put up single runs in each of the first two innings, and jumped out to a 4-0 lead in third on base hits by seniors Sarah Eckard (Hollidaysburg, Pa./Hollidaysburg) and Rachel Nagy (Nazareth, Pa./Nazareth) coupled with a pair of Wentworth errors.

Amanda Gerlach's (Mesa, Ariz./Marcos de Niza) two-run double to left-center keyed a three-run Juniata fourth, and Stacy Nagy helped her own cause with a two-out, bases loaded triple to left-center in the top of the fifth inning.

Eckard finished the game 3-for-4 at the plate with four runs scored, while Rachel Nagy, Kelsey Shutt (Harrisburg, Pa./Central Dauphin) and Allison Gerlach (Mesa, Ariz./Marcos de Niza) each had a pair of hits.

Wentworth starter Caylee Johanson allowed all 10 runs, seven of which were earned, in five complete innings of work, and was tagged with the loss.

Game one was a heartbreaker for Juniata, who held a 4-1 lead over LaRoche after four complete innings. The Eagles plated three runs in the bottom of the third, with a Rachel Nagy double plating Eckard and Shutt singling home Jen O'Neill (Sayville, N.Y./Sayville).

LaRoche cut the Juniata lead to one run with a pair of runs in the top of the fifth, as Jennifer Hawkins' base hit to left-center scored lead-off hitter Cara Giannandrea and Jodi Walsh. The Eagles got one of those runs back in the bottom of the frame, when Rachel Nagy reached on a lead-off single, and pinch runner Denalyn Spratt (Haddon Heights, N.J./Haddon Heights) went to second on a wild pitch. O'Neill flied out to right field for out number two, sending Spratt to third, but the throw back into the infield was off the mark and allowed Spratt to score.

Juniata's 5-3 lead disappeared in the top of the sixth inning. LaRoche's Aylson Eckert laced a one-out single down the left field line, scoring Sydnie Martin who reached on a base hit to right center. Eckert advanced to second on a ground out to short, and crossed on Walsh's double down the left field line.

The teams' traded runs in the seventh, with LaRoche scoring on a two-out bases loaded passed ball. Juniata sent the game into extra innings with one run in the bottom of the seventh, but failed in it's best chance to put the game away. O'Neill and junior Caley McCool (Spring Mills, Pa./Penns Valley) reached on errors, and O'Neill tied the game by stealing home plate as McCool threatened to take second. A Shutt single, Melissa Moffat (Oceanside, Calif./Oceanside) sacrifice, and Allison Gerlach fielder's choice grounder that resulted in no runner getting put out left the bases loaded with one out as the Eagles returned to the top of the order. However Eckard's grounder back to the pitcher produced a force at the plate, and Stacy Nagy popped up to first base to get LaRoche out of the jam.

A potential LaRoche run to take the lead in the eighth was gunned down at the plate, when a fly ball to Allison Gerlach in centerfield ended with Amanda Gerlach tagging out Eckert at home to complete a double play.

LaRoche earned the win by putting up three runs in the top of the ninth. A two-base error by Erb in an overthrow of first base allowed Giannandrea to score the game-winning run, and an RBI grounder by Martin later in the frame plated a second run. Finally reliever Jessica Cullum doubled home Kayla Strittmatter, giving LaRoche a three-run cushion heading into the bottom of the ninth.

Cullum made short work of the Eagles in the ninth, forcing a ground out to short and recording a pair of strikeouts to end the game.

Erb fanned 13 LaRoche batters and allowed nine runs on 11 hits in the loss, evening her record at 1-1.

Shutt went 3-for-5 at the plate for the Eagles, with Stacy Nagy and Rachel Nagy each getting a pair of hits. Rachel Nagy also had two RBI for Juniata.

Juniata will face Keystone College in a doubleheader on Wednesday, March 10, at Huckabee Field in Surfside Beach, with first pitch of game one slated for 9:30 a.m.

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