Softball sweeps Thursday to complete Florida Trip

Savala part of many hitters that chipped into best pair of offensive performances this season on Thursday.
Savala part of many hitters that chipped into best pair of offensive performances this season on Thursday.
LEESBURG, Fla. – The University of Dallas softball team combined for 16 runs and 24 hits in its second doubleheader sweep in less than a week to finish the spring break trip in Florida 3-1. Dallas banged out season-highs in runs (9) and hits (13) against University of Scranton for an 8-inning 9-7 victory. The Crusaders then tallied seven straight runs in their remaining two innings to bat for a 7-1 triumph over Susquehanna University in the later nightcap.

Dallas has improved to 8-12, having won six-of-eight contests in the past week. The offense totaled at least six runs in three of the games down in Florida.


GAME 1 INFORMATION

Team Scores: University of Dallas (9), University of Scranton (7) (F/8 innings)

Team Records: Dallas (7-12), Scranton (5-4)

Pitcher of Record: W) Lee (3-7), L) Long (0-1)

NOTABLE STATISTICS

- Stephanie Cervantes (Temecula, Calif.) boasted a 3-for-4 with two RBI and two runs scored. The catcher earned a hit in all three games she started in the last two days; going a combined 7-for-10, 3 ribbies, a double, and three runs scored.

- Lety Morales (Fontana, Calif.) was perfect at the dish (2-2) notching her first career multiple hit game. She smacked her first career extra base hit for a double and drove in a pair.

- Joining Morales with doubles to tie a team-high three (other was FDU-Florham) were Melanie Savala (Bryan, Texas) and Allie Driskill (Houston, Texas).

- Savala and Allison Kotlar (Edna, Texas) recorded the other multi-hit games.

- Jade Miller (Plano, Texas) had a hit and walk to keep her on-base streak extended to 12 (at the time). She stole two bases, while Savala and Cervantes each had a theft to give UD four total and match a season-most for the 3rd occasion.

- Lauren Galvan (Bryan, Texas) started and earned a no decision as she surrendered five runs (4 earned) on nine hits. Katie Lee (Houston, Texas) got the win and gave up just one earned run on five hits while walking one. She struck out three.

- The Royals were led by Shannon Stricker (3-5), Kaitlin O'Sullivan (3-5), and Casey DeSarno (3-4) at the plate. Megan Zinn and Stricker each drove in a pair, while the latter was one of two players to score twice.

- Molly Hampsey posted the lone extra base hit for the opposition, which was a double.

- Caitlin Long went six innings in relief and only allowed runs in the extra frame. She struck out two and walked a Crusader, while giving up six hits.

HOW IT HAPPENED

Similar to the start of this Florida stretch, the Crusaders got to work offensively in the early portion of the game. Dallas etched a run in each of the first three innings. Scranton countered with four runs combined of its own during that same span.

After Kotlar reached on due an error, Miller would reach on a fielder's choice that got Kotlar at second on the putout. Savala doubled to left center and Miller's strong jump allowed her round all the way from first and get the first run of the matchup.

In the bottom part of the inning, the Royals struck for a pair. With one out, the first knock was the double to right center from Hampsey. She scored on the next at bat, which was Stricker's single up the middle. Two matters later Morgan Rentzhelmer singled to center and gave the team its lone lead of the contest.

The Crusaders flipped the scoreboard with a two-spot in the second inning and then kept matching the run total with the inning total by putting a three-spot up in the third. Avery Finch (Jamul, Calif.) got the RBI groundout to tie the game, and then her classmate Kotlar singled to center for the go-ahead for the time being. In the next frame, Driskill doubled to left center in the gap that scored Miller. Cervantes had a pair of ribbies two batters later that extended the advantage to 6-2.

Scranton nipped the margin in the bottom half of the third with a pair of runs. O'Sullivan and DeSarno singled for the opposition to garner an RBI each. In the fifth, two more runs evened the scoreboard to force extra softball. It was the first time this campaign, the Crusaders played beyond seven innings. In 2016, the Crusaders played six extra-inning games all being eight.

The international tiebreaker rule was in effect, which means the previous spot from the leadoff batter of the inning automatically gets placed on second. Dallas pinch ran with Shannon Sheeley (Cedar Hill, Texas), who scored the first run of the eighth. She reached third on a wild pitch and after a groundout would race home on a fielding error that allowed Baylee Leifester (Belton, Texas) to reach. Morales had the key knock after the team leader in hits added to her season-high and stole second. Morales pounded her first career two-bagger, which was needed as the Royals responded with one in the home half.

With the game-winning run at the plate, Lee was able to retire three straight opposing hitters to secure the two-run victory.  


GAME 2 INFORMATION

Team Scores: University of Dallas (7), Susquehanna University (1)

Team Records: Dallas (8-12), Susquehanna (6-4)

Pitcher of Record: W) Lee (4-7), L) Gonzalez (4-2)

NOTABLE STATISTICS

- Prior to today, the Crusaders only had reached double figures in hits once this season. They broke the plateau twice in a day with 11.

- Hitters 4 through 6 had all but one of the quartet of two-hit games. Savala, Driskill, and Tano respectively were those players, and Cervantes rounded out the unit with another solid game in the box.

- Driskill drove in four Crusaders for a personal most and most by an individual this season. The most by an individual this spring was Miller the other day versus FDU-Florham. Driskill did leg out her first ever collegiate triple.

- Kotlar smacked the other extra base hit for Dallas with her first of the year with a double.

- Tano's pair of ribbies mark the 4th time this season the freshman has achieved multiple runs batted in.

- Miller continued to raise her on-base streak to 13 in a row with a hit. The team leader in stolen bags had another to increase the amount to 17.

- Lee tossed her best start of the season with four hits allowed in a complete game effort. She fanned three to give her 10 the last three outings in a row. All of them were the past three games in Florida.

- The four hits allowed was a season-low for UD pitchers.

- Kelly Miller led Susquehanna with half the base knocks going 2-for-2 and reaching on a walk. She scored the lone run.

- Alexa Gonzalez started and was saddled in 5.2 innings with three runs (1 earned) on eight hits. She walked and struck out one.  

HOW IT HAPPENED

It took five innings for the Dallas bats to get anything across the board. The River Hawks claimed the early lead with a run in the second inning. Miller singled to left and started the game. An error by a play that was supposed to be a sacrifice bunt allowed runners at the corners. Kasey Boast singled for the RBI to left.

The next several innings were steady on each side. Dallas finally got some noise in the sixth when Miller drew a walk. Savala and Driskill followed with back-to-back singles. Miller scored to give the shortstop an RBI, but Driskill was out at second trying to advance on the hit. Tano got the next runner in on an error and from there it was all UD as the offense did not relinquish the edge. Cervantes singled two batters later to wrap up a 3-1 lead.

In the 7th inning, the Crusaders poured on four more runs highlighted by Driskill tripling to right center and clearing the bases that were loaded. Tano came next with an RBI on the sacrifice fly. It was plenty for Lee to tackle a perfect bottom of the seventh and earn her second win on the evening.

UP NEXT

Dallas enjoys the rest of spring break off and will host its first Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference (SCAC) foe on March 25-26 with Schreiner University. First pitch both dates are at 12 p.m.