Softball Rallies Twice to Sweep D'Youville

Photo credit to Erika Helo.
Photo credit to Erika Helo.

With its postseason hopes dwindling, the Pitt-Bradford softball team earned a much-needed sweep Wednesday, rallying twice to defeat D'Youville 6-1 and 11-3.

The Panthers struggled to solve D'Youville pitcher Hannah Turek in game one, registering only an infield single through the first five innings. Pitt-Bradford's Morgan Bellush did her best to match Turek, but an error in the top of the fifth led to the game's first run.

In the sixth, Maddy Hillery reached on an error to leadoff, and pinch-hitter Kennedy Cratty raced home on Madison East's double to centerfield, tying the game at one. Pitt-Bradford would eventually load the bases, and Melissa Nye's slow-rolling ground ball to the right-side scored East from third, pushing the Panthers in front 2-1.

With the bases still loaded and in the infield drawn in, pinch-hitter Sophia Fratercangelo lined a single up the middle, scoring two, and Hillery's two-run base hit later in the frame capped a six-run outburst.

Bellush worked around a one-out base hit in the seventh to earn her first career win. She surrendered just six hits, did not walk a batter and struck out one. It was the Panthers' first win this season when trailing after the fifth inning.

A pair of errors in the Panthers' half of the first staked Pitt-Bradford to a 2-0 lead in game two. Starter Cassidy Lewis worked around bases runners in the first two innings before settling in and retiring eight straight batters at point.

In the top of the fifth, her defense faltered with two outs, and Rylie Russo's base hit to centerfield scored two runs, giving the Spartans a 3-2 lead.

Pitt-Bradford responded by tying the game in the bottom half of the frame. Grace Dadzaa singled to lead off the inning and moved to third on a pair of wild pitches. Liz Dzurisin lifted a fly ball to centerfield two batters later, plating Dadzaa and leveling the score.

Lewis worked out of a bases loaded jam in the sixth to preserve the tie, and Pitt-Bradford would erupt for eight runs in the bottom half of the inning to run-rule the Spartans.

Melissa Nye and Sam Hribal singled in consecutive at bats, and Betty Fratercangelo walked to load the bases. In the next at bat, Dadzaa put the ball in play, and Cratty, who ran for Nye, narrowly beat the throw home.

Hillery would reach on a fielder's choice, scoring another run, and East's single through the right side of the infield led to two more runs. Jenna Fellows and Nicole Nolte added RBI base hits, and the Spartans' third error of the game allowed Fellows to score from third, completing the sweep.

Dadzaa was 2-4, scored a pair of runs and stole a base, to lead the Panthers' 10-hit attack. East finished with three RBIs and two stolen bases.

Lewis earned the win, her team-leading fourth of the season, by allowing three unearned runs on six hits. She struck out two and walked one.

Pitt-Bradford improves to 9-20 on the season, and more importantly, 3-7 in the AMCC. The Panthers travel to Alfred State Friday for a 3 p.m. twinbill.