CLERMONT, Fla. – Freshman pitcher Danielle Rinaldi posted 11 strikeouts in her collegiate debut for the Wesleyan University softball team on Wednesday evening, but rookie Peyton Loesch connected on the game-winning, two-run double in the seventh inning for Marian University (Wis.) during a 4-2 win in Clermont, Fla.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
- The Cardinals (1-1) jumped on the scoreboard first in the opening frame on an RBI ground out to second by freshman Marina Williams, which scored rookie AyJay Mulholland from third base. Mulholland, who is 4-for-7 at the plate this season, led off the inning by slamming a double to left field.
- In the fifth inning, the Sabres (7-5) took their first lead, doing all their damage with two outs. Freshman Kenzie Waechter and sophomore Ally Fox recorded back-to-back singles. Then, with runners stationed on the corners, junior Lindsey Strainis recorded a two-run single to center.
- Sophomore Rachel Curran, who is originally from Wakefield, R.I., notched a leadoff single to right in the fifth, and then used intelligent base running to claim second on a passed ball. Curran advanced to third with one out in the frame, and then junior Olivia Gorman came up with a two-out RBI single to shortstop, scoring Curran and tying the game at 2-2.
- In the top of seventh, Waechter and Fox started the rally for Marian by reaching on errors, and then they advanced to second and third, respectively, setting the stage for Loesch's game-clinching, two-run double to right.
- Rinaldi only gave up two earned runs on five hits in 6 1/3 innings of work. She also proved difficult for opposing batters to read, as she struck out the side in the second.
- Freshman Maria Noto did an excellent job in a relief role for Wesleyan, as she entered the game in the seventh with one out and runners on second and third. The New Lisbon, N.Y. native was able to immediately get a ground out and strikeout, giving the Cardinals a chance heading into the bottom half of the frame, facing only a two-run deficit.
- Sophomore Paige Rauhut (4-2) earned the complete-game win for the Sabres, giving up one earned run on six hits, to go along with eight strikeouts.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS:
- Senior captain Rielly Wieners went 2-for-3 for Wesleyan with a double, and Mulholland also went 2-for-3 with a double and a run scored.
- Fox and Waechter each recorded multi-hit games for Marian, while the Cardinals led the hits category, 6-5.
- The Sabres left eight runners on base, and Wesleyan stranded six, while the Cardinals compiled two extra-base hits, and Marian posted one.
- The Cardinals will compete against Lasell on Thursday at 5:30 p.m. in Clermont, Fla.