Point Park softball picks up first wins of the season over Bethel, Concordia (NY)March 4, 2015
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By Karina Graziani
CLERMONT, Fla. – The Point Park University Softball team picked up its first wins of the season Wednesday, 10-7 over Bethel College (Ind.) and 4-2 over Concordia College (N.Y.).
Point Park (2-4) got out to an early lead in both games and earned the victories to get back on the winning track. The Pioneers led Bethel (4-2), 10-4, their way to avenging a 9-1 loss on Monday. The Pioneers led Concordia (1-5), 4-0, after two innings.
Junior pitcher Hannah Harley (1-0) went seven complete to earn the win versus Bethel, her first appearance of the season. She recorded four strikeouts, one walk and allowed seven runs on 10 hits.
The Pioneers had the bases loaded in the second inning, but could not drive in the first run. Bethel got its bats moving in the third, putting together a few singles. Senior Natalie Newell sent them home with a three-run homer.
Point Park answered with five runs. Montour HS product Alyssa McMurtrie started the inning off with a single, advanced to second on a bunt and scored a run off senior Karen Mao’s single to left. Senior Natalie Zivic reached on a single, and after a fly out, the bottom of Point Park’s lineup came through with key hits to keep the inning going.
Senior outfielder Audrey Eisentrout pounded a two-run double to score Mao and freshman catcher Jessica Beitler. Becca Babincak followed suit with a hard single to the left side to bring Zivic and Eisentrout home, making the score 5-3.
The Pioneers held their lead with solid defense. Senior infielder Gabi Vogt went 3 for 4 with a solo homer in the bottom of the fourth to extend the lead, 6-3. They continued the onslaught into the sixth, with singles by seniors Nikki Eagan and Eisentrout. Eagan scored off a single by junior Taylor Geary, and McMurtrie followed with a two-run double to score Geary and Eisentrout.
Bethel answered with three runs in the top of the sixth, but Point Park’s defense pulled through and held the Pilots to one run in the top of the seventh. Harley got a fly out to left with the bases loaded to secure the win for the Pioneers.
The Pioneers continued to dominate on defense into their second game of the day against Concordia. Point Park scored all its runs in the first two innings, and the defense held the Clippers scoreless until the bottom of the seventh.
Senior Megan Dyer (1-2) got the start on the mound for the Pioneers, putting up a solid effort with one strikeout, four walks and six hits over seven innings of work.
The Pioneers batted around the lineup in the first inning, with Geary, Vogt and Mao making it home safely. With the bases loaded in the bottom of the second, Geary scored on an error to extend the lead to 4-0.
From there, it was an uphill defensive battle by both teams. The Pioneers did not have another runner reach base for the entire rest of the game, but its defense and Dyer’s pitching held the lead.
Concordia finally found its groove in the seventh with a lead-off single by the nine spot hitter, freshman Tiffany Zecena. The top of the order reached on a single and advanced on a bunt.
With two runners on base, junior Victoria Vickerman hit a two-run single to right, scoring the Clippers’ only two runs of the game. The number four and five hitters for the Clippers grounded out to the left side to end the game.
Point Park faces Madonna University (Mich.) tomorrow at 3 p.m. and Cornerstone University (Mich.) at 5 p.m.
Follow the Pioneers on Twitter @PointParkSports and @PPUSoftball.