LEESBURG, Fla. – Simmons University pitching allowed just seven hits and no earned runs in softball wins over Nebraska Wesleyan University, 3-1, and Gordon College, 7-0, today at the Sleepy Hollow Sports Complex in Leesburg, Fla. The Sharks improve to 3-1 on the season for their best start since 2016, while Nebraska Wesleyan falls to 3-4 and Gordon slips to 0-6.
Junior starting pitcher Hailey Yabroudy (Amherst, N.H.) (1-0) allowed just one unearned run on six hits and struck out three to go with one bases on balls to pick up her first victory of the season in Simmons' victory over Nebraska Wesleyan, while sophomore right-hander Maddie Castigliego (Bristol, R.I.) hurled her first career seven-inning shutout, giving up just one hit and fanning three batters vs. Gordon.
Junior Christie Bott (Seaford, N.Y.) helped pace the Sharks offense with four hits, including three vs. Nebraska Wesleyan. She also added a double, two runs batted in and a run scored. Junior left fielder Ivy Vann (Bend, Ore.) knocked in a pair of runs and smacked three hits, including a double, while sophomore third base Alex Morang (Windham, Maine) collected three hits, including a double and knocked in a run.
The Sharks got all the runs they would need in the bottom of the second inning vs. Nebraska Wesleyan. Bott led off the frame with a double to center and advanced to third on a single up the middle by junior second base Marissa Santoro (Franklin, Mass.). Santoro advanced to second on the throw to set up a two-run double to the left center gap off the bat of Vann and give Simmons a 2-0 margin.
The Prairie Wolves looked to cut their deficit in half in the fourth, but the Sharks defense had other ideas. Sophomore first base Taylor Styskal (Lincoln, Neb.) singled through the left side with one out and junior left fielder Ashlee Mayorga (Salina, Kan.) followed with a double to left field. Styskal raced around second and third with a ticket to score, but Vann connected with sophomore shortstop Allie Mulhern (Westford, Mass.), who fired the relay throw to cut down the would-be-run by two steps for the Sharks and keep Nebraska Wesleyan off the board.
Simmons tacked on an insurance run in the fifth when pinch-hitter Shannon McMahon (El Cajon, Calif.) drew a leadoff walk, moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by senior Molly Hennessey (Charlton, Mass.), and scored on a single by Bott to give the Sharks a 3-0 advantage.
The Prairie Wolves got on the board with a run in the sixth to cut the deficit to 3-1. Junior designated player Kailey Meyer (Omaha, Neb.) laced a one-out double to left center and later came around to score on a single to the left center gap off the bat of first year second base Mollie Grant (Auburn, Neb.). Junior Rachel Mundt (Lincoln, Neb.) roped a two-out line drive to second with runners on second and third, but Santoro stabbed the ball out of the air to limit Nebraska Wesleyan to one run. Yabroudy set down the final three Prairie Wolves in the seventh to preserve the win Simmons.
First year left-hander Bailey Green (Plymouth, Neb.) (1-1) was charged with the loss after allowing two runs on four hits and two walks to go with three strikeouts in an inning and two-thirds for Nebraska Wesleyan. Grant led the Prairie Wolves offense with a pair of hits and an RBI, while Mayorga and Mayer each cracked a double.
The Sharks engaged Gordon in a defensive battle in the second game of the day for Simmons with both teams unable to score through the first four innings of play.
The Sharks threatened with a one-out double from Mulhern in the top of the first and a triple from Del Vacchio in the third, but the Fighting Scots kept Simmons off the board.
Castigliego retired the first four Gordon batters she faced, before surrendering a bloop single behind second base in the second inning to junior Kristen Brown (Granite Springs, N.Y.). Castigliego allowed just one more baserunner in the game when she hit junior second base Karissa Hatchell (Eaton, Colo.) with a pitch with two outs in the third inning. Castigliego was perfect for the remainder of the game, setting down the final 13 batters of the game to pick up her first victory of the year.
The Sharks cracked the scoring column in the fifth when first year pinch hitter Kylie Collins (Westerville, Ohio) took a pitch off the elbow to reach base ahead of a single through the left side from Vann. Collins came around to score on a clutch double to left center from Morang and Vann scampered home on a sacrifice fly from senior outfielder Lauren Del Vacchio (Murrieta, Fla.) to give Simmons a 2-0 lead. Mulhern plated Morang with a single up the middle to give the Sharks a 3-0 lead.
Simmons added four more runs in the seventh, taking advantage of three hits and an error. Vann and Morang began the frame with consecutive singles, before Del Vacchio blooped a single down the right field line to bring home Vann and give Simmons a 4-0 lead. The Sharks took advantage of an error to contribute to three more runs in the inning and give them a 7-0 margin.
Del Vacchio, Mulhern, Vann and Morang all collected two hits and scored at least one run for Simmons against the Fighting Scots.
Brown (0-3) was tagged with the loss for Gordon, giving up three runs on five hits in four and two-thirds innings of action.
Simmons returns to action on Wednesday, March 11 when it takes on Plymouth State University at 4:00 p.m. at Hancock Recreational Complex in Clermont, Fla.