The Pitt-Bradford softball team opened the 2017 season Monday at the Gene Cusic Collegiate Classic in Naples, Florida, with a pair of one-run losses. The Panthers lost to Swarthmore, 6-5, and fell 8-7 to Kenyon.
Pitt-Bradford nearly opened the season in winning fashion, but Swarthmore rallied for five runs in the bottom of the seventh to stun the Blue and Gold.
The Panthers scratched across two runs in the second inning, capitalizing on three Swarthmore errors to go-ahead 2-1.
After surrendering a run in the first, Cassidy Lewis settled in, allowing just three base runners over the next three innings.
Pitt-Bradford extended its lead to 5-1 in the sixth on a pair of two-out base hits. Lewis helped her own cause by driving in two runs with a single to center field, and Sophia Fratercangelo added a RBI hit one batter later.
The Panthers squandered a chance to add to its advantage in the top half of the seventh, stranding a pair of runners in scoring position.
Swarthmore led off the bottom half of the frame with consecutive hits, trimming the deficit to 5-2, and a fielding error down the right field line on the next play seemed to shift momentum. The Garnett followed Pitt-Bradford's miscue with back-to-back run-scoring singles, and they tied the game on a double-steal attempt.
Two more Panther fielding errors loaded the bases, and on the game's final play, Swarthmore's Marisa Mancini beat shortstop Jenna Fellows' throw attempt home to complete the comeback.
Lewis was charged with the loss, allowing six runs, four earned, in six innings of work. Liz Dzurisin finished with three hits, and Lewis and Fratercangelo each had two RBIs.
Pitt-Bradford appeared poised to rebound in game two versus Kenyon, yet let another four-run lead slip away.
The Panthers led 4-0 after the top of the first on two-run singles by Chelsey Henry and Betty Fratercangelo, but the Ladies countered with five hits and four runs in their half of the frame to even the score.
Madison East singled in the second inning and later scored on a wild pitch to put the Panthers back in front, 5-4. Kenyon went ahead for good in the third inning, scoring on a Pitt-Bradford error and producing a run-scoring groundout in the next at bat.
The Ladies added a RBI base-hit and sacrifice fly in the sixth to extend their advantage to 8-5. Maddy Hillery cut the deficit to one in top of the seventh with a one-out two-run double, but the Panthers' next two batters failed to delivering the game-tying hit.
Sam Hribal suffered the loss, allowing six runs, four earned, on nine hit in four innings. Morgan Bellush pitched two innings of relief, yielding a pair of runs.
Pitt-Bradford returns to action Tuesday afternoon with a games Bridgewater St. and Clark.