BOSTON, Mass. – The University of Saint Joseph and Emmanuel College softball teams played to a Great Northeast Athletic Conference twinbill split Wednesday evening under the Roberto Clemente Field lights. The Blue Jays (19-12, 12-5 GNAC) took game one behind freshman Amaria Sharon (Tolland, Conn.) in a pitcher's duel, 2-0, before the Saints (15-15, 12-6 GNAC) rebounded for an 8-0 win in five innings in game two.
Game 1 - USJ 2, Emmanuel 0
The Blue Jays manufactured an early run to jump out to a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning. Sophomore Morgan Skoly (Vernon, Conn.) led off the frame with a walk and moved into scoring position after stealing second. Freshman pitcher Amaria Sharon (Tolland, Conn.) then helped her own cause by driving in Skoly with an RBI double to right to give USJ the early advantage.
Sharon dominated the Saints in the circle without allowing a runner to get in scoring position until the sixth inning when EC freshman Sydney Rogers (Southwick, Mass.) reached third following a Blue Jay throwing miscue. Emmanuel was unable to push the run across though as Sharon retired the 2-3-4 hitters in the Saints lineup to keep the score at 1-0 heading into the final frame.
USJ added an insurance run in the seventh to bump the score to 2-0. Freshman designated player Brianna Barfield (North Attleboro, Mass.) led off the inning with a double to right and then came around to score on a bloop-single just inside the left field line by Skoly.
Sharon retired the Saints in order in the bottom of the seventh to preserve her 17th win of the year, throwing a complete-game shutout and allowing just three hits while striking out five. For EC, senior pitcher Jill Kilcoyne (Worcester, Mass.) was the loser of the much anticipated pitcher's duel, going the distance and allowing two runs on four hits while striking out eight to fall to 9-5 on the year.
Game 2 - USJ 0, Emmanuel 8 (5 inn.)
Emmanuel turned the tables in game two with a pair of first inning runs to race out to an early 2-0 lead. Both runs were unearned as Rogers and sophomore designated player Ashley Skey (Brookline, N.H.) reached on USJ miscues. Senior first baseman Susie Kieselback (Wethersfield, Conn.) then delivered the only hit in the frame with an RBI triple to right to drive in Skey for the 2-0 cushion.
The Saints added two more runs in the second to make it 4-0. Senior third baseman Kara Madden (Silver Spring, Md.) and Rogers singled and came around to score on a two-RBI single to left by freshman second baseman Kara Madden (Medway, Mass.).
The hosts kept the heat on in the fourth to take a 6-0 lead as Rogers drove in two more runs with a two-RBI single to left.
In the field, sophomore pitcher Megan Kieselback (Wethersfield, Conn.) kept the Blue Jays bats quiet holding them scoreless through five innings.
S. Kieselback picked up her sister with a RBI single in the bottom of the fifth to bump the lead to 7-0 before freshman outfielder Sarah Hoisl (West Hartford, Conn.) ended the game early with an RBI double to center to account for the 8-0 final.
M. Kieselback earned the win with a complete game shutout to improve to 5-6 on the year. Sharon suffered the loss for the Blue Jays to fall to 17-8 in the circle.
The USJ softball team will return to the diamond next when they host GNAC opponent Johnson & Wales on Senior Day Saturday. First pitch of game one is slated for noon.