CLERMONT, Fla. – The Wesleyan University softball team split a pair of games on Thursday in Clermont, Fla., with freshman pitcher Lauren Gaffney-Gomez earning her first win as a Cardinal with five scoreless innings of relief in a 4-2 triumph over Lasell, and then Olivet defeated Wesleyan, 3-1, in the second game.
GAME 1 HIGHLIGHTS (Wesleyan 4, Lasell 2):
- Wesleyan (2-2) went on the board in the top half of the second on a one-out, two-run single to right by freshman Brenna Monroe, scoring freshman Danielle Rinaldi and junior Kendall Carr. Rinaldi started the frame off with a double to center and Carr reached first on a walk, and then both runners advanced to scoring position with one out.
- In the bottom half of the second, Lasell (1-7) evened the game, as sophomore Sarah Kline came up with a clutch two-out, RBI double to center, plating sophomore Nicole Arcese from second. Freshman Carly VanDeusen was next up, and she reached first on an error by the shortstop, as Kline raced across home with an unearned run.
- Senior Rielly Wieners, a co-captain for Wesleyan, came up with the game-winning, RBI single to left in the fifth with one out, scoring Gaffney-Gomez, who led off the inning with a walk, from second, as the Cardinals took a 3-2 lead. Gaffney-Gomez advanced to second on a heads-up sacrifice bunt by freshman Marina Williams.
- Wesleyan wanted to increase its lead in the top half of the seventh to provide a little breathing room, and that hope became a reality when sophomore pinch hitter Rachel Curran tallied a one-out, RBI single to left, allowing Wieners to score from third with the Cardinals' fourth run.
- Gaffney-Gomez entered the game in the third inning with the score knotted at 2-2. She gave up no runs on three hits, and struck out six batters during the final five innings. The Burnaby, British Columbia native compiled 1-2-3 innings in the fourth and sixth.
- Freshman starting pitcher Allie Borowsky (0-3) was tagged with the loss, relinquishing three runs on nine hits through 5 2/3 innings.
- Rinaldi went 4-for-4 in the batter's box for Wesleyan, including a double, to go along with a run scored. Kline (2-for-3, double, RBI, run scored) and sophomore Victoria Spellman (2-for-3) played well for the Lasers. Wesleyan compiled 11 hits and Lasell finished with five.
GAME 2 HIGHLIGHTS (Olivet 3, Wesleyan 1):
- The Comets (11-3) drew first blood with a two-run effort in the second. Freshman Kayla Blett drove an RBI double to left, plating senior Konnor Geiger all the way from first. Blett extended the cushion to 2-0, finding her way to home with an unearned run on a one-out infield single by sophomore Taylor Shellenberger.
- Sophomore Gracie Boyle (5-2) was clicking on all cylinders for Olivet, as she earned the complete-game win, giving up no earned runs on three hits. Boyle finished with four strikeouts and three walks, facing 29 batters.
- During the top of the fifth, junior Andrea Rico led off with a walk, and then sat 90 feet away on third with two outs in the frame. Junior Dominique McKillop then drove the ball to the left side of the infield, and an error by the third baseman allowed McKillop to reach first and Rico to score, giving Olivet a 3-0 advantage.
- Wesleyan tried to make a push in the bottom half of the frame, as Gaffney-Gomez continued her superb day with a two-out, RBI single to center, scoring junior Olivia Gorman from third.
- Senior captain Julie McDonald (1-1) was strong for the Cardinals on the mound, as the Commack, N.Y. native only allowed one earned run on five hits. She also whiffed seven batters and only allowed one walk. Freshman Maria Noto was strong in relief, slamming the door shut during the final two frames, while allowing a pair of hits and walking two.
- Blett (2-for-4, two doubles, RBI, run scored), Geiger (2-for-3, double, run scored) and sophomore Kinslea Blouin (2-for-3) starred for the Comets. Olivet held a 7-3 lead in hits.
- The Cardinals will take on No. 14-ranked Babson and Calvin on Saturday in Clermont, Fla., with game times set for 2 and 4:30 p.m., respectively.