WENHAM, Mass - The University of Saint Joseph softball team dropped a pair of games on the road in a midweek doubleheader to the Gordon College Fighting Scots at the Gordon Softball Field Tuesday. The Fighting Scots rallied with a seven-run sixth inning to win game one 7-2 before completing the sweep with a 9-8, walk-off, victory in game two. It marks just the third time this season that USJ has been swept as they fall to 14-10 overall on the season, while Gordon improves to 11-17 with the victories.
Game 1 - USJ 2, Gordon 7
The silence of a quick few innings was broken in the top of the third by the Blue Jays. Gordon pitcher Caitlin Catalanotto (Kingston, N.H.) got two of the first three batters out, but got into a bit of trouble when freshman Taylor Marino (Middlefield, Conn.) singled and then advanced on a throwing error by the pitcher. Gordon almost got out of the inning unscathed, but another error allowed a run to cross and kept the Blue Jays' rally alive. Starting pitcher Amaria Sharon (Tolland, Conn.) made the Scots pay with a RBI double into the gap in left to score Marino, but Gordon was able to prevent any further damage.
The 2-0 score remained until the bottom of the sixth when Gordon's offense awoke from a slumber. After Sharon got the first batter to strike out, Laura Bieren (Groton, Mass.) struck a double to the left-field wall to get things going. Carleigh Petersen (North Hills, Calif.) reached on an error before Rose Shannon (Ashland, Mass.) singled in the first run for the Scots with a hit to deep short. Sarah Ryder (Telford, Pa.) tied the game on a ball that snuck into right field on the ground.
Sharon was able to register another punch out to put two outs on the board, however Lexy Haye (Wells, Maine) was subbed into the game in search of her first hit of the season when things got crazy for the Fighting Scots. Gordon called a gusty double-steal with the runner on third on delay. Ryder snuck in under the tag at second allowing Petersen to score easily from third to take the lead 3-2.
Haye then singled into left to again put runners in the corners before Emily Kline (Park Ridge, N.J.) and Jenkerson cleaned up the mess. Kline hit a two-RBI triple to deep right before Jenkerson followed and hit a two-RBI home run to left-center to make it a 7-2 game.
Catalanotto kept the Blue Jays off the board in the top of the seventh despite a lead-off double from freshman Megan Ricci (Center Moriches, N.Y.) for the 7-2 final.
Only one run of the nine scored in the game was earned. Sharon went six innings with only one earned run against and recorded six strikeouts. Catalanotto struck out three Blue Jays to earn her eighth win of her rookie campaign.
Junior Karen Agogliati (Portland, Conn.) had the only multi-hit game for the visitors, while Biere, Petersen and Catalanotto all had two hits for Gordon.
Game 2 - USJ 8, Gordon 9
Jenkerson stayed hot and got things started for the Scots in game two, cranking the first pitch she saw in the first inning over the fence in dead center. Gordon's offense in the first did not stop there as Ryder sent a 2-0 pitch with two outs the inning to right field to plate both Kaelie Mercado (Grenada Hills, Calif.) and Petersen.
Ricci got one back for the Blue Jays in the top half of the second with an RBI single to drive in sophomore Rachel Dube (Southington, Conn.) to make it 3-1.
Up to bat with a 3-1 lead in the bottom of the second, Jenkerson approached and once again demolished a home run for her third round tripper in as many plate appearances to push the Scots lead to 4-1.
Saint Joseph never got too low despite the deficit, chipping away with two runs in the third to quickly close the gap. The Blue Jays really got things going in the fourth by capitalizing on a pair of Gordon errors. Junior Sarah Ercoli (East Granby, Conn.) singled to third with the bases loaded to easily score a run, and a throwing error brought another one in to give the Blue Jays their first lead 5-4. St. Joseph extended the run with a two-RBI single by Dube before another error made it an 8-4 game.
Gordon was able to halve the four-run disadvantage in the second half of the fourth with a bases-loaded single by Bieren and another on an error at third.
The Blue Jays held an 8-6 lead into the final half inning when Gordon made its final rally. The first two Scots accepted walks to begin the inning before a pinch-hit single by Catalanotto drove in Kline from second. Bieren knotted the game, 8-8, with a sacrifice fly, but Gordon's advantage was temporarily halted when the runner tagging from second was thrown out at third.
However, with two outs USJ committed two costly mistakes to end the game. A firm grounder to the left side was misplayed before a fly ball was dropped to allow Petersen to cross home for the walk-off triumph, 9-8.
Ercoli had a game-high three hits for the Blue Jays in game two, while Ricci and sophomore Kara Klimaszewski (Naugatuck, Conn.) each contributed two.
Jenkerson scored four times in the contest and was walked in each of her three plate appearances after hitting two long balls to begin the game. Petersen reach base safely in all four appearances, but two were by error and two by hits.
The USJ softball team will look to rebound when they return to action next tomorrow with a key Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) doubleheader at home against Suffolk University. First pitch of game one is scheduled for 3 p.m.