KISSIMMEE, Fla. – The Simmons College softball team was shut out by nationally-ranked number 15 Coe College, 8-0, this afternoon in the Citrus Games at Disney's Wide World of Sports Complex in Kissimmee, Fla. The game was stopped after six innings due to the eight-run mercy rule. The Kohawks, who are ranked in the latest National Fastpitch Coaches Association poll, win their eighth straight to improve to 10-1, while the Sharks fall to 2-6.
First year center fielder Molly Hennessey (Charlton, Mass.), sophomore Sam Curran (Concord, N.H.) and first year Bridget Garach (West Hartford, Conn.) each collected a hit for Simmons. Sophomore left-hander Michaela Reeves (Reading, Mass.) (0-1) took the loss, yielding seven runs on 12 hits.
Ryan faced just three batters over the minimum, while recording her first collegiate shutout for Coe. She struck out one and did not issue a walk on the day. Senior shortstop Mallory McArtor (Riverside, Iowa), senior center fielder Brianna Gardner (Princeville, Ill.), first year third baseman Taylor Huber (Central City, Iowa) and senior right fielder Paige Wieland (Riverside, Iowa) each collected two hits for the Kohawks. Gardner scored three runs, knocked in a run and stole a base and Huber drove in a run, scored a run and stole a base as well, while McArtor doubled and stole two bases. Sophomore first baseman Allie O'Brien (Grimes, Iowa) collected a pair of runs batted in for the winning squad as well.
Coe wasted no time getting on the board, with McArtor reaching on a bunt single, stealing second and coming around to score on a single up the middle from Gardner for a 1-0 edge. Gardner later scored when Ryan, who had reached on a fielder's choice, stole second and watched the throw go into center field to enable Gardner to come home. Ryan later followed suit when Huber, who had singled, also stole second and drew an errant throw into center field. Huber was followed by an RBI single off the bat of junior catcher Jess Brooks (Aledo, Ill.), who threw out two runners in the game from her catching position, to give the Kohawks a 4-0 lead. The Sharks ended the threat with a line-drive double play to second.
Coe tacked on another run in the second when Gardner cracked a two-out single down the right field line, stole second and came around to score on a single to center from O'Brien for a 5-0 margin. The Kohawks manufactured their fourth run of the day in the fourth with McArtor reaching first after being hit by a pitch, stealing second, moving to third on a ground out and scoring on a sacrifice bunt by Obrien.
The Simmons defense looked like it would extend the game to its full seventh frame, but Huber came through with a two-out single to center for Coe to plate Gardner, who had singled previously and sophomore pinch-hitter Ashley Heims (Manchester, Iowa) ended the contest with a run-scoring single to left field to bring home senior pinch-hitter Brenna Winn (Walker, Iowa), who had also singled to prolong the inning.
The Sharks conclude their Florida stay when they take on Thiel College tomorrow at 11:00 a.m. and number two Saint John Fisher College at 1:15 p.m., while the Kohawks take on Saint John Fisher today at 3:30 p.m.