Point Park beats Bellevue (Neb.) behind Zelenka, falls to Ave Maria (Fla.)
March 7, 2013 at 4:15 p.m. ET
Senior Kristen Zelenka beat Bellevue, 2-1, a team ranked No. 28 in the NAIA. Photo by Lauren Jones.
CLERMONT, Fla. -- Kristen Zelenka gave up only one run in a complete game to lead the Point Park University softball team to a 2-1 win over a good Bellevue (Neb.) University team on Thursday, but the Pioneers were nipped by Ave Maria (Fla.) University, 5-1, later in the day.
The Pioneers are 5-3 entering Friday, their final day at the Dot Richardson National Training Center College Spring Games in Clermont, Fla. Point Park opened with two wins on Sunday but followed that by splitting doubleheaders on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday.
Bellevue (8-4), which beat Point Park earlier in the week, 6-4, is rated just outside the NAIA Softball Preseason Top 25 at No. 28 overall. Zelenka held the Bruins to one run on six hits and got a couple of key hits from her offense for the win.
Point Park took a 1-0 lead in the second on Sara Guffey's RBI single. The inning started with a double from Ashley Morran and a sacrifice bunt from Gabi Vogt.
Morran, who was 1 for 2 with a walk, scored both of the Pioneers' runs. She came home with the eventual game-winning run in the fourth after drawing a walk. Guffey and Danielle Dorunda each singled, and with two outs, Destiny James drew a bases-loaded walk to force in the difference-maker.
With the 2-1 lead, Zelenka shut things down. She stranded runners in scoring position in the fourth and sixth innings, and Bellevue got the potential tying run on base with two outs in the seventh.
Bellevue scored its run in the second after a walk, a bunt and a run-scoring single from Katie Malloy. But Zelenka limited the damage and kept the score 1-1 by leaving runners at second and third.
In the second game of the day, the Pioneers got only three hits off of winning pitcher Samantha Crews of Ave Maria (Fla.). Crews struck out five and walked none, and the only run she gave up was on Brea Magnone's RBI single in the bottom of the sixth. Taylor Geary had doubled earlier in the Point Park sixth.
Crews retired the first 15 batters she faced, and that took her through five innings with a perfect game going and a 3-0 lead.
Point Park starter Kate Reese kept the Pioneers within striking distance before a homer and an unearned run in the Ave Maria sixth stretched the lead to 5-0. Reese went all seven innings with five runs (four earned) on eight hits, no walks and one strikeout.
Amanda Ardinger's lead-off double in the seventh was the last of the Pioneers' three hits.
Point Park's final day in Florida on Friday includes matchups versus Spring Arbor (Mich.) at 5 p.m. and Adrian (Mich.) at 7 p.m. The Pioneers' first competition up north is the home opener March 14 vs. PSU-Fayette at 3 p.m. (DH).