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Softball Splits Season-Opening Doubleheader In New Haven

Photo taken by AMC Athletics - March 27, 2021
Photo taken by AMC Athletics - March 27, 2021

NEW HAVEN, Conn.  Behind some sensational starting pitching, the University of Saint Joseph (USJ) softball team split a pair of Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) contests against intrastate rival, Albertus Magnus College (AMC), in a season-opening Saturday doubleheader at the Shea Softball Complex. The Blue Jays allowed two early runs in game one and were unable to drive in enough for the win, falling 2-1 in the opener, but found their offense in game two with five runs over a two-inning stretch to win 5-2 and earn the split. Senior captain and pitcher/outfielder Alessandra Milardo (Plantsville, Conn.) was the 'Blue Jay of the Day', going 2-for-7 at the plate with two hits, a run and three RBI, while also spinning a gem in game one inside the circle with a career-high 10 strikeouts.

GAME ONE

Score: Saint Joseph 1, Albertus Magnus 2
Records: USJ (0-1, 0-1 GNAC), AMC (1-2, 1-0 GNAC)
Location: Shea Softball Complex | New Haven, Conn.

KEY MOMENTS

  • A series of mishaps in the third inning allowed the Falcons to get two runs on the board. An error in right, followed by a passed ball, put AMC in front, 2-0.
  • Milardo did all she could at the plate, driving the lone Blue Jay run home in the fifth to make it 2-1. Junior pitcher Kayla Resto (Shelton, Conn.) pitched two shutdown innings in relief to close it out for the Falcons.

IN THE CIRCLE

  • USJ – Milardo was in the zone Saturday, throwing six innings and allowing only three hits in a complete-game effort. Her two runs were unearned, and she struck out 10, a career-high, despite the losing effort (0-1). She had zero walks.
  • AMC – Freshman Angela Grindrod (Stratford, Conn.) tossed five innings of work (1-0), allowing four hits and just the one run, which came off the bat of Milardo. She did have three walks, but fought her way out of jams, setting it up for Resto, who finished things up in the sixth and seventh to earn her first save.

GAME TWO

Score: Saint Joseph 5, Albertus Magnus 2
Records: USJ (1-1, 1-1 GNAC), AMC (1-3, 1-1 GNAC)
Location: Shea Softball Complex | New Haven, Conn.

KEY MOMENTS

  • The Blue Jays brought their bats in game two, scoring five runs in the first two frames. Junior designated player Kacy O'Connor (Milford, Conn.) belted a two-run double to right to kick things off. A third run came across later on in the sequence, giving USJ a 3-0 lead.
  • Milardo continued to dominate the day, slapping a two-RBI single in the next inning to make it 5-0. She was the only Blue Jay to drive in a run in both games. Quality pitching kept USJ in front to the end, leading to the doubleheader split with AMC.

IN THE CIRCLE

  • USJ – Junior Natalie Amato (Cheshire, Conn.) was on point most of the way, allowing two runs on five hits in a complete game, equaling her teammate in game one with a career-best in strikeouts, whiffing 11 and improves to 1-0 on the young season.
  • AMC – Senior Laura Anderson (East Haven, Conn.) also went the distance, but ran into early trouble, allowing five runs (4 ER) on six hits. She also struck out four in the loss (0-2).

COACH QUOTE [Jim McKinnon on today's performance and opening the season]
"We really showed a lot of character after losing the first game and coming back to take the second one. It was the first games we played after seven weeks of straight practice. We had great pitching performances by 'Sange' [Milardo] and Natalie [Amato], and big hits as well. We will be ready for Mitchell on Tuesday."

UP NEXT
The Blue Jays will be back in action on Tuesday, March 30, in a non-conference, road-doubleheader against the Mariners of Mitchell College. First pitch is expected at 3:00 and 5:00 p.m. respectively.   

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