Crusaders and Polar Bears Defeat Sharks in Clermont
CLERMONT, Fla. – Simmons Softball fell to the Susquehanna University Crusaders and the Ohio Northern Polar Bears 10-8 and 11-3, respectively, at the National Training Center this afternoon in their opening week of play. The Sharks (1-5 overall) were led by Senior Amanda Gould (Kingston, N.H.) who went six for seven and picked up four RBI's on the day.
Simmons opened the day against the Crusaders who are currently #1 in the Landmark Conference with an overall record of 3-2. Susquehanna took the lead in the first off a bunt from B. Murphy who drove in C. Miller. The Sharks responded in the top of the second with a double down the left field line by Gould, sending freshman Jen Field (Windham, Maine) across home plate.
Rafter started a three-run second inning for the Crusaders with a double to left field but the Sharks rebounded in the third with a perfectly placed bunt by Katie McCarthy (Falmouth, Maine) to advance junior Ari King (Westford, Mass.). Amanda Cordeiro (Fall River, Mass.) and Gould each added a hit to send home two runs, bringing the score to within one.
After a scoreless fourth inning, Simmons' offense exploded in the fifth with four runs, starting with a double by Gould to score Field from second. After three consecutive singles by Cailin Pagel (Dorchester, Mass.), Hannah Cunningham (Cotuit, Mass.), and King, the Crusaders made a pitching change. But with the bases loaded, A. Cullen walked McCarthy to bring in another run with the Sharks up 7-4.
The Crusaders had a stellar fifth inning, bringing in pinch hitter M. Clark who hit a three-run home run to tie the game at seven. Susquehanna added three more runs to take the lead 10-7 heading into the sixth. Gould singled to right field and H. Cunningham doubled to left and picked up an RBI, cutting the Crusaders lead to two. But the Sharks left three on base in the seventh to end the game 10-8.
In the second game, the Sharks took the lead early against Ohio Northern University off a hard infield hit from Cordeiro, scoring Lauren Backhaus (Windsor, Conn.) and a single by Gould along the third base line sending Emily Cunningham (Cotuit, Mass.) home. After a scoreless second, the Sharks added another run when H. Cunningham drove in Field to increase their lead to 3-1.
The Polar Bears responded with a six-run fourth inning with three singles and two doubles before Christina Mulcahy (Cambridge, Mass.) robbed Mangola of a hit to right field to end the inning. The Sharks added a run in the seventh but it wasn't enough as Ohio Northern rolled to victory, 11-3.
The Sharks return to the field on Thursday, March 8th against Misericordia University at 1:00 p.m. and Northwestern College at 5:00 p.m. at the National Training Center.