Panthers Fall to #12 St. John Fisher

Panthers Fall to #12 St. John Fisher

BRADFORD, Pa. – The University of Pittsburgh at Bradford softball team (4-10) dropped both games of a doubleheader against 12th-ranked, St. John Fisher (11-1), in their home opener Saturday afternoon at the Kessel Athletic Complex.

The Panthers fell 5-1 in the opener and then 8-2 in the finale.

"I am pleased with our effort today. They are a very good team and we held our own," said Pitt-Bradford head coach Tina Phillips. "We got sloppy in the second game on defense and at times made some of the innings longer then they needed to be."

Leann Bell went 2-3 with an RBI in the opener while Nicole Nolte had the other hit for the Panthers.

Taylor Collins took the loss, but held a relentless Cardinal offense in check through four innings of work. Cassidy Lewis struck out one while allowing just two hits in three innings of relief in game one.

Sarah Kubik led St. John Fisher with two RBI while Ashley Prince, Kristina Balsano and Julia Sortisio drove in one run each in the victory.

Lindsay Thayer, who was named national pitcher of the week last week, was incredible in the circle. She improved to 5-0, allowing just one run on three hits while striking out 13 for the Cardinals.

The Cardinals' offense got out to a fast start with Kubik crushing a two-run homer in the top of the first to give St. John Fisher a 2-0 lead.

Prince, Balsano and Sortisio added RBI singles in the third to extend the Cardinal's lead to 5-0 after three.

Bell broke up the shutout bid with an RBI single in the bottom of the sixth to bring the Panthers within 5-1, but Pitt-Bradford wouldn't come any closer as they fell 5-1 in the opener.

Liz Dzurisin led the Panther offense in the game two loss, going 2-3 with two RBI. Amber Fox was 3-4 with a stolen base from the leadoff spot.

Prince and Sortisio drove in two runs each to lead the Cardinal offense to a victory in game two while Jennifer Knaak, Katie Mazierski and Balsano drove in one run each. Halie Schoff picked up her fifth win of the year in the circle, allowing just two earned runs on eight hits while striking out five and walking one.

Despite ultimately dropping the contest, the Panthers held a 2-1 lead after the first inning. Dzurisin gave the Panthers the lead with a two-run single right back up the middle.

However, the Cardinals answered with three runs in the second and two more in the third to take a 6-2 lead into the home half of the third.

The Panthers threatened, but couldn't get a timely hit, leaving six runners on base while St. John Fisher added two in the top of the seventh to cap the 8-2 victory.

"Grace Dadzaa played a great centerfield for us today. We competed and improved in some of the areas that we have been working on," Phillips said. "It will be nice to have some time to get healthy, as we have played 14 games in 12 days."

The Panthers return to action Tues. March 29 for a doubleheader at Westminster College, beginning at 3:30 p.m.