PLANT CITY, Fla. – The Simmons Softball team rallied for three runs in the sixth inning, but it wasn't enough as it fell, 10-3, to Muskingum University this evening at the Randy Larson Complex in Plant City, Fla. The Sharks fall to 1-3 on the season, while the Muskies improve to a perfect 4-0.
Muskingum rapped out 16 hits and scored the first eight runs of the game with single runs in the first and second innings, before breaking the contest open with a four-run fourth and added two more runs in the sixth. Simmons put three runs on the board in the sixth to prevent the shortened game.
Sophomores Ivy Vann (Bend, Ore.) and Marissa Santoro (Franklin, Mass.) each reached base twice for the Sharks with a single and a walk, while classmate Danielle Carson (Ashland, Mass.) drew a pair of walks, including one to force in a run. Junior Alex Soqui (Acushnet, Mass.) drove in a run with a single. Soqui (0-1) was saddled with the loss from the pitching circle, giving up six runs (four earned) on eight hits and two walks to go with a strikeout in three innings of work.
Senior center fielder Krissy Hughes (Newark, Ohio) tripled, doubled and singled in five at-bats in addition to scoring three times and knocking in a pair of runs for the Muskies, while sophomore second base Karsyn Shaffer (Greenville, Ohio) was 2-4 with a double, a run batted in and two runs scored. Sophomore third base Jaelyn Meade (Uniontown, Ohio) and senior right fielder Rachel Eberling (Paris, Ohio) each rapped out a pair of hits and drove in a run apiece. Sophomore shortstop Riley Powers (Mentor, Ohio) knocked in three runs for the day and scored two in addition to collecting a single. Sophomore right-hander Hannah Duff (Strasburg, Ohio) threw four innings of no-run ball, allowing just two hits and a pair of walks, while striking out six to earn the victory and improve to 2-0.
Eberling singled home a run in the top of the first to put Muskingum on the board and Hughes doubled in a run in the second to give the Muskies a 2-0 lead after two innings of play.
The Muskies put together four hits and took advantage of a pair of Simmons miscues to score four times in the fourth, highlighted by a two-run single up the middle from Powers. Shaffer belted an RBI-double and senior first base Kylie Zifer (Louisville, Ohio) singled in a run to fuel the Muskingham frame and give it a 6-0 lead.
The Muskies tacked on two more runs in the sixth to take an 8-0 advantage. Mead knocked in a run with a single and first year Katie Osburn (Belpre, Ohio) came through with a run-producing pinch-hit single to give Muskingum its eighth run.
Simmons rallied for three runs in the bottom of the sixth to prevent the game from being halted due to the mercy rule. The Sharks loaded the bases with no outs for Soqui, who delivered with a single to right field to plate sophomore pinch-runner Emily Barbella (Littleton, Mass.) with her team-high fourth run scored of the season. Sophomore right fielder Sydney DeVogt (Exeter, N.H.) was able to reach on a muffed throw at first base to push Simmons' second run across, before Carson worked a bases-loaded free pass to bring in the Sharks third run to cut the margin to 8-3. That was all the runs the Sharks would get after a key 1-2-3 double-play helped the Muskies get out of the inning without allowing any further damage.
Muskingum added two more runs in the seventh when Shaffer reached on a lead-off bunt single and came around to score on a triple to left center from Hughes. Hughes also scored on a Powers ground-out to close out the scoring.
Simmons returns to action on Wednesday, March 6 when it takes on Bluffton University at 11:00 a.m. in Plant City, Fla., while the Muskies play Randolph College on March 5 at 1:15 p.m. in Plant City.