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Softball salvages split vs. Scranton as Smith smacks sixth-inning RBI double in Juniata's 1-0 win over Royals

(Posted April 10, 2011)

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- Juniata College freshman Rachel Smith (Martinsburg, Pa.) belted a two-out RBI double in the bottom of the sixth, lifting her Juniata squad to a 1-0 win over the University of Scranton in game two of a Landmark Conference softball doubleheader at Weaver Park Field.

The win was Juniata's (3-21, 1-5 Landmark) first Landmark victory of the season, and snapped the Eagles' 17-game winless streak. The triumph came on the heels of a 10-0 loss to Scranton (10-6, 3-1 Landmark) in game one of the twinbill, which was postponed from Saturday due to weather.

Erin Francis (Parkton, Md./Hereford) got aboard with one out in the sixth with a slapped single that stayed fair as it rolled down the third base line. She advanced to second on Amanda Gerlach's (Mesa, Ariz./Marcos de Niza) grounder to second base.

Meghan Decker (Waynesboro, Pa./Waynesboro Area) drew a walk to put runners on first and second, and bring Smith to the plate. She laced a double into right-center, plating Francis for what proved to be the game's only run.

Starting pitcher Kelsea Decker (Waynesboro, Pa./Waynesboro) then finished off Scranton in the top of the seventh with a strikeout, a walk, a ground out and a fly out, to complete the two-hit gem and give the freshman her first career shutout in the circle. Decker recorded four strikeouts with two walks over the seven-inning performance.

Smith and Kelsea Decker each went 2-for-3 at the plate for the Eagles in game two, while Francis and Allison Gerlach (Mesa, Ariz./Marcos de Niza) each finished with one hit off Scranton starter Christine Capalbo.

Capalbo issued one walk and recorded no strikeouts against Juniata, in addition to the one run on six hits she yielded to the Eagles.

Game one was a much different affair, as Scranton posted four runs in the second and six more in the fourth in a mercy-rule shortened game at six innings.

Scranton's Ashley Vosilla hit a solo home run to lead off the second, with the Royals' lead bolstered later in the frame by Tia Dimou's two-run double to left field that scored Kelly Zaccheo and Jamie Shackles.

In the fourth inning, Vosilla crushed a two-run round-tripper with two outs, and Kristen Williams followed up with a solo blast on the very next at bat.

Juniata was held to just four hits in game one, two of those coming from Allison Gerlach with one each from Meghan Decker and Steph Frith (Pottstown, Pa./Pottsgrove). The Royals' Samantha Boccolini pitched her way to the five-inning shutout by fanning two Eagles and walking none.

Freshman Morgan Miller (Olney, Md./Sandy Spring Friends) scattered five hits with four strikeouts and five walks in three-and-two-thirds innings of work, but allowed nine earned runs on her way to the loss. Mason Kersey (Charles Town, W.Va./St. John's Catholic) came on in the fourth to replace Miller, and gave up two hits over one-and-a-third innings of relief work.

Juniata returns to action on Monday afternoon, April 11, when it hosts Mount Aloysius College in a non-conference doubleheader at Weaver Park Field. First pitch is scheduled for 3:00 p.m.

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