NEW BRITAIN, Conn. — The University of Saint Joseph (USJ) softball team took care of business, sweeping a doubleheader in dominant fashion against Pine Manor College (PMC) on the CCSU Softball Field, on the campus of Central Connecticut State University Wednesday afternoon.
The Blue Jays (13-12, 3-1 GNAC) have won five straight games, while the Gators (0-8) continue to search for that first win of the season.
In game one, USJ put up a season-high 19 runs, including 12 in the third inning alone, to knock off the Gators 19-0, ending under the mercy rule in five innings.
Senior shortstop Isabella Russo (Southington, Conn.) finished 2-for-4 with an inside the park home run and four RBI. Sophomore second baseman Michelle Woodruff (Southington, Conn.) was a perfect 3-for-3 in the lead off spot (the only batter in either game to get three hits in three at bats), hitting a double, two singles and driving in a run. Sophomore catcher Nahalia Faurot (Makakilo, Hawaii) had the only hit of the game for the Gators (1-2).
Sophomore pitcher Alessandra Milardo (Plantsville, Conn.) threw a one-hit shutout in four innings on the mound (1 BB, 4 K), and picked up the win (2-5). Sophomore pitcher Ashley Smith (Decatur, Ala.) was dealt the loss.
Senior third baseman Kara Klimaszewski (Naugatuck, Conn.) got the first run across on an RBI triple, scoring Woodruff. It was a Blue Jay avalanche from there, scoring all 19 runs in the first 3 innings. They did it on eight extra base hits from six different players, and 12 RBI from seven different players. Russo's second inning inside the park home run made it 7-0 after two. USJ tacked on that eighth run in the third, and 11 more runs later, held their largest lead of the season. Freshman pitcher Julia Annecchiarico (Ludlow, Mass.) came in and threw a flawless fifth to seal the deal.
Game two saw more of the same offensively for USJ, defeating the Gators 11-0 in five innings.
Annecchiarico allowed just one hit in two innings, and drilled an RBI triple down the right field corner in the second inning. Freshman center fielder Anna Hendrickson (Meriden, Conn.) let loose at the plate, hitting 2-for-2 with two singles and an RBI. Smith went 2-for-2 with two singles for the Gators, but was unable to get home for a run.
Freshman pitcher Natalie Amato (Cheshire, Conn.) picked up another win (7-2), throwing three innings of two hit softball. She struck out nine without allowing a single walk. Senior pitcher Kristina Giunta (Boston, Mass.) took the loss for PMC.
After another quick start for USJ, it was the Annecchiarico triple, followed by an RBI single from Hendrickson that gave the Blue Jays an 8-0 lead. From there, it was about mowing batters down on the mound. While Amato did allow two hits, there was never any hesitation in her windup, throwing hard and in control throughout, as she calmly struck out the side in order in the top of the fifth to close out the Blue Jays' second straight doubleheader sweep.
USJ looks to continue their hot streak with another GNAC doubleheader on Saturday, April 13, at 12:00 and 2:00 p.m. against Lasell (MA). Pine Manor heads home for a doubleheader Thursday, April 11 at 3:30 and 5:30 p.m. against Newbury College (MA).