Point Park wins two dramatic games at Carlow to sweep season series
April 17, 2012
Sara Guffey's two-run single in the sixth inning provided the difference in Game 1. Photo by Lyddia Ankrom.
KENNEDY TWP., Pa. -- The Point Park University softball team came away with a doubleheader sweep at Carlow University under the lights at Lind Field Tuesday night, and it had a flair of the dramatic in doing so.
The Pioneers (22-20, 9-1 AMC) erased a 5-0 deficit after four innings to win the opener, 6-5, and then went late to win the nightcap, 1-0, in nine innings.
With the pair of American Mideast Conference victories, Point Park sweeps the season series from cross-town rival Carlow (26-11, 8-6 AMC). The Pioneers beat the Celtics, 2-0 and 9-7, at home last week.
By pulling out two victories in games that could have easily gone the other way Tuesday night, Point Park makes it a two-team race for the AMC Regular Season title. At 9-1 AMC, the Pioneers are just ahead of Friday's opponent, Walsh University (29-15, 11-3 AMC).
Carlow took control of Tuesday's opener with five runs in the bottom of the fourth, and Point Park still trailed, 5-1, when it came to bat in the sixth. But the Pioneers put together a five-run rally to take the lead, and it was Sara Guffey's two-run single with two outs that provided the difference.
The Point Park sixth inning also included an RBI single from Larissa Banks, and the Pioneers got the help of a couple of fielding miscues by Carlow.
Point Park had cut the deficit to 5-1 in the fifth when Banks sacrificed a runner into scoring position for Olivia Sorce's RBI base hit.
Kelsey Robertson (12-7) went the distance to get the victory in game one. She was fresh off a no-hitter versus Walsh Monday, and she did not give up a hit until the third inning versus Carlow. Before that base hit, Robertson had not allowed a hit in 13 innings.
Robertson also worked a quick bottom of the ninth to earn the save in game two, although before that it was freshman Kate Reese (5-4) who got the win in eight scoreless innings. Reese, a native of Cresson, Pa., who has been battling a shoulder injury, turned in a gutsy performance in what turned into a battle of freshman pitchers.
Carlow's Emily Pritts, a freshman from Beaver Falls, Pa., took the 1-0 loss although she struck out 16 Point Park batters. She went all nine innings and Ashley Morran's RBI double with two outs in the top of the ninth accounted for the game's only run. Earlier in the inning, Nichelle Navarro beat out an infield single and was sacrifice ahead by Sorce.
With Carlow falling out of contention for the league crown, Friday's doubleheader at Walsh (3 p.m.) will likely determine the regular season champion. Those will be the final AMC games for Walsh, and Point Park finishes up its conference schedule with four weekend games versus Fisher.
Point Park and Carlow will likely meet again before the season is through as they will be the top two teams in the AMC Tournament April 27-29 hosted by Carlow at Lind Field. The four-team event that will also include Houghton (NY) and Fisher (MA) will not include Walsh since it is in year two of its NCAA Division II process.