PLANT CITY, Fla. – The Simmons University softball team erased a 3-0 deficit and sent the game into extra innings, before St. John Fisher College scored in the bottom of the ninth to come away with a 5-4 victory over Simmons University this evening at the Randy Larson Complex in Plant City, Fla. as part of the Sunkissed Games. The Sharks fall to 1-2 on the season, while the Cardinals, who received votes in the latest National Fastpitch Coaches Association Poll, improve to 2-1.
First year catcher Shannon McMahon (El Cajon, Calif.) paced Simmons, going 2-4 with two RBI, while sophomore center fielder Danielle Carson (Ashland, Mass.) was 1-2 with a walk and two runs scored. Junior second base Lauren Del Vacchio (Murrieta, Calif.) also reached base twice with a single and a walk. Senior Tori Gomes (Taunton, Mass.) was saddled with the tough-luck loss, allowing two unearned runs on two hits and two walks in three and two-thirds innings of relief. First year Maddie Castigliego (Bristol, R.I.) made her first collegiate start from the pitching circle and yielded three runs (two earned) on six hits and no walks, while fanning a batter in four and a third innings of work.
Senior catcher Mary Claire Grosvenor (Horseheads, N.Y.) paced St. John Fisher at the plate, going 2-3 with a run batted in, while sophomore shortstop Sammie Torlish (Farmington, N.Y.) knocked in a run with a double. Senior first baseman Sarah Kubik (Orchard Park, N.Y) was 1-3 with a walk and a run scored. Sophomore right-hander Emily Trotman (East Amherst, N.Y.) hurled the first five innings and the final three and a third innings for a total of eight and a third innings or work, while allowing two runs (one earned) on eight hits and a walk and struck out six to earn the win and improve to 2-0.
The Sharks erased a 3-0 deficit by scoring twice in the sixth and once in the seventh innings to send the contest into extra frames.
Carson worked a one-out walk in the top of the sixth inning and senior first base Dom Ortiz (Lawrence, Mass.) was hit by a pitch with two outs later in the inning. McMahon came through with a single to right center to plate Carson and cut the margin to 3-1 for Simmons. Sophomore Emily Barbella (Littleton, Mass.) pinch-ran for Ortiz and later scored on an error to pull the Sharks to within a run, before their half of the inning came to a close.
Simmons was down to its final out in the seventh when sophomore pinch-hitter Hailey Yabroudy (Amherst, N.H.) cracked a hustle double down the left field and advanced to third on an infield single back to the pitcher by Del Vacchio. Carson re-entered the game to run for Yabroudy at third and scampered home on the back end of a double steal with Del Vacchio getting hung up between first and second long enough for Carson to score the tying run to make it 3-3. Gomes needed just four pitches to retire the Cardinals in order and send the game into extra innings.
The Sharks struck first with Del Vacchio standing on second to begin the frame, as part of the international tie-breaking procedure, and came around to score on an RBI single off the bat of McMahon to give Simmons a 4-3 edge.
Grosvenor answered for St. John Fisher with a run-scoring single in the bottom of the inning to make it 4-4 after eight complete innings.
The Sharks were unable to push a run across in the ninth, before the Cardinals ended the game in the bottom of the frame. Trotman was able to bunt the ball back to the pitcher to open the frame to move the runner from second to third, but the Simmons pitcher's throw to first was wild, allowing senior Sam Schermerhorn (Cohoes, N.Y.) to scamper home from second with the winning run.
St. John Fisher opened the scoring in the bottom of the first when senior right fielder Ashley Prince (Pasadena, Md.) belted a double to center and later scored on an error by the Sharks' first baseman to make it 1-0.
Kubik doubled the Cardinals lead with an RBI single in the second, before Torlish knocked in St. John Fisher's third run of the contest with a double for a 3-0 lead.
Simmons returns to action, taking on Muskingum University later this evening, while the Cardinals return to action at 1:15 p.m. on March 5 when they take on Emerson College in Plant City.