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Blue Jays Blister AMCATS In Doubleheader Shutout

Photo taken by USJ Athletics - April 18, 2021
Photo taken by USJ Athletics - April 18, 2021

WINDSOR, Conn.  The University of Saint Joseph (USJ) softball team allowed just six hits over two games, picking up a much-needed sweep, and knocked off Anna Maria College (ANM) in a Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) Sunday doubleheader at Fastpitch Nation Park.

The Blue Jays came out swinging in game one, pulling the mercy rule through five innings with an 11-0 shutout win. Solid pitching and defense was the name of the game in both contests, and in particular game two, as USJ was errorless in the field en route to a 5-0 shutout game-two win to complete the sweep.

Senior captain and pitcher Alessandra Milardo (Plantsville, Conn.) was the 'Blue Jay of the Day' once again, going 4-for-6 at the plate with two doubles, a run and three RBI. She also threw five innings of shutout ball inside the circle in game one, picking up her first win of the season.

PLAYER QUOTE [Alessandra Milardo]
"Being a pitcher, you're looking for great defense, and that's exactly what my team did today, and I can't thank them enough. The bats finally came alive as well, which is what we were looking for. I think getting last season taken away [due to the pandemic], and being a senior captain this year, knowing that this is my last one, I want to put everything out there on the line every game."

COACH QUOTE [Jim McKinnon]
"You have to start with the pitching. I've always thought that pitching is what carries anything like this. Between Alessandra Milardo and Natalie Amato, we've got two of the best pitchers in the league right there, and others to come. We always look for pitching and defense, and our defense was great too. I was very pleased with what we did on the field. We've played two games in three months, and to come out and play against a good team like Anna Maria, is a really good sign."

GAME ONE

Score: Anna Maria 0, Saint Joseph 11 - 5 Innings
Records: AMC (3-14, 0-9 GNAC), USJ (2-1, 2-1 GNAC)
Location: Fastpitch Nation Park | Windsor, Conn.

KEY MOMENTS

  • The Blue Jays got ahead of the AMCATS early with a two-run second and a six-run third, taking a commanding 8-0 lead after three. The third inning bombardment came off six hits and an error, including an RBI from five different batters, two from junior right fielder Anna Hendrickson (Meriden, Conn.).
  • Freshman center fielder Kelsey Fernandez (Southington, Conn.) made the highlight reel in the fourth, sacrificing her body on a diving catch to lead off the stanza. The catch set the tone, as the Blue Jays did not allow Anna Maria to get anything going at the plate all game.
  • Milardo dished out a series of filthy fifth-inning pitches to finish off the visitors, who went down 1-2-3 in the final half inning. Milardo didn't allow a baserunner past second base all game.

IN THE CIRCLE

  • USJ – Milardo continued to make a name for herself, putting up her second dominant performance of the season, but was rewarded this time with the win (1-1), whiffing eight in a three-hit complete game shutout.
  • AMC – Sophomore pitcher Kaitlyn Snyder (Cromwell, Conn.) was dealt the loss (0-7), allowing 11 runs on 14 hits in five innings of work. She added a walk and a strikeout.

GAME TWO

Score: Anna Maria 0, Saint Joseph 5
Records: AMC (3-15, 0-10 GNAC), USJ (3-1, 3-1 GNAC)
Location: Fastpitch Nation Park | Windsor, Conn.

KEY MOMENTS

  • The Blue Jays once again got things going early, scoring two quick runs in the second frame, including an RBI double from Milardo which sent the dugout dancing. The Blue Jays held a 2-0 lead for most of the second game.
  • The exclamation point came in the bottom of the sixth, when sophomore center fielder Jenna Masiello (Cromwell, Conn.) launched a three-run rocket over the left center field fence, giving the Blue Jays a 5-0 lead that they would not relinquish.

IN THE CIRCLE

  • USJ – Junior Natalie Amato (Cheshire, Conn.) was on point most of the way, allowing just three hits in a complete game shutout, equaling her teammate in game one with eight strikeouts. Amato improves to 2-0 on the season with the victory.
  • AMC – Junior pitcher Sabrina Liston (Reheboth, Mass.) took the loss despite hanging in there throughout the contest, allowing five runs on 11 hits in six innings of work (1-6).

UP NEXT
The Blue Jays will be back in action on Tuesday, April 20, in a GNAC doubleheader against the Falcons of Albertus Magnus College. First pitch is expected at 3:00 and 5:00 p.m. respectively in this intrastate matchup on the USJ Softball Field.   

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