WINTER PARK, Fla. – The Simmons College softball team was the beneficiary and the victim of one big inning in its 7-1 victory over Westfield State University and its 6-1 loss to Wittenberg University, respectively, this morning at the Foundation Academy Fields in Winter Park, Fla. as part of the 2015 Spring Games. The Sharks pick up their first win of the season and are now 1-4, while Westfield State was 2-3 and Wittenberg was 2-2 following the respective contests.
The Simmons bats came alive for six runs in the fourth inning to power the Sharks to the victory over Westfield State. Sophomore Katie Nosky (Dedham, Mass.) roped a one-out single to center for one of a career-high three hits in the game and was replaced by pinch-runner Kayla Padroff (Southington, Conn.), who stole second in her collegiate debut. Sophomore third baseman Kat Guillotte (New Bedford, Mass.) took advantage of the runner in scoring position by ripping a single to center to plate Padroff and give Simmons a 2-1 edge. Senior left fielder Jen Field (Windham, Maine) reached on a fielder's choice and moved to second, while Guillotte moved to third on a passed ball to set up a run-scoring single to right field from senior shortstop Hannah Cunningham (Cotuit, Mass.) to increase the Sharks lead by one. Junior second baseman Mikaela Caracciolo (North Attleboro, Mass.) knocked in two more runs with a single to left. Senior starting pitcher Lauren Backhaus (Windsor, Conn.) later drew a two-out walk and rounded the bases and scored behind Caracciolo on a double down the left field line off the bat of junior center fielder Heather White (Westfield, Mass.) to give Simmons a six-run advantage at 7-1.
The Owls got on the board first when sophomore catcher Mackenzie Brisbois (Douglas, Mass.) worked a walk and later scored on a two-out triple hit to right center by sophomore shortstop Elizabeth Kelly (Quincy, Mass.) for a 1-0 edge. The Sharks matched the run in the top of the third when Caracciolo drew a two-out walk, stole second and scored on a Jess Uschmann (Feeding Hills, Mass.) single to center to make it 1-1.
Backhaus earned the victory to improve to 1-1 for Simmons, tossing all seven innings, while allowing one run on six hits and two walks to go with eight strikeouts. Junior Cat McCarthy (Ludlow, Mass.) took the loss for Westfield State, yielding seven runs on eight hits and three walks, while fanning four in four innings.
Cunningham finished with a pair of hits, an RBI and a run scored, while Caracciolo and White each batted in two runs for the Sharks. First year third baseman Maddy Atkocaitis (Westfield, Mass.) and sophomore left fielder Sydney Ezold (Westfield, Mass.) each collected two hits to lead the Owls.
Whittenberg made the most of six hits, scoring six runs, including five in the sixth inning to put the game away. Sophomore left fielder Abby Baker (Canfield, Ohio) led off the sixth with a double down the left field line and moved to third when senior designated player Ashlee Wright (Kettering, Ohio) singled to right field. Baker scampered home on an errant pickoff throw from the Simmons catcher, while Wright moved to third on the play that gave WU a 2-1 lead. Junior Kaela Hughes (Columbus, Ohio) reached second when she hit a high fly ball that couldn't be handled by the Sharks centerfielder and scored pinch-runner Shelby Knapp (Springfield, Ohio). First year third baseman Sam Bausch (Cincinnati, Ohio) reached on a fielder's choice, while Hughes beat the throw home from first base and then scored on a booming double to left field by first year relief pitcher Chelsea Zang (Cincinnati, Ohio) to give Wittenberg a 5-1 lead. Zang later scored on an error for the sixth run.
The Tigers struck first in the top of the third when junior center fielder Shannon Lance (Loveland, Ohio) reached on a fielder's choice, later moved to second on a ground out and scored on a two-out single up the middle from sophomore second baseman Casey Hobbs (Fairborn, Ohio) for a 1-0 margin. Simmons countered in the fourth when White smacked a leadoff single down the left field line and later scored on a two-out double to left by senior third baseman Alaina DeNoncour (Johnston, R.I.) to knot the tally at 1-1.
Zang earned her first collegiate victory for Wittenberg, throwing one-hit ball for the final three innings, while striking out two. She relieved first year Abby Haab (Dublin, Ohio), who gave up one run on six hits and struck out three over the first four innings. Senior Amanda Cordeiro (Fall River, Mass.) was on the hook for the loss after giving up four runs (two earned) on two hits, while setting a batter down on strikes on one-third of an inning for the Sharks. First year starter Juliet Nelson (Cumberland, R.I.) gave up a run on just three hits and a walk, while striking out a batter in five innings of work.
Six different hitters collected a hit for the Tigers, while Caracciolo rapped out two for Simmons.
The Sharks return to the diamond on Thursday, March 12 when they play Gordon College at 9:00 a.m. at the National Training Center in Clermont, Fla. Westfield State plays Worcester Polytechnic Institute today and Wittenberg takes on Haverford College on March 12 at 3:00 p.m. at Hancock Park in Clermont.