KISSIMMEE, Fla. – First year center fielder Molly Hennessey (Charlton, Mass.) collected three hits to lead the Simmons College softball team in a 4-3 loss to Thiel College this afternoon in the Citrus Games at Disney's Wide World of Sports Complex in Kissimmee, Fla. The Sharks fall to 2-7 on the season, while the Tomcats improve to 4-5.
Hennessey also added a walk, a run batted in and a run scored for Simmons, while first year second baseman Lauren Del Vacchio (Murrieta, Calif.) was 2-2 with two runs scored and a walk. Sophomore righty Tori Gomes (Taunton, Mass.) (0-4) suffered the loss for the Sharks, allowing four runs on nine hits and four walks in four innings of work.
Sophomore catcher Miranda Reesman (Vandergrift, Pa.) doubled in a pair of runs to lead Thiel. First year third baseman Vanessa Falce (McKeesport, Pa.) also drove in a run with a double and senior designated player Caitlyn Carney (Lake Milton, Ohio) knocked in a run with a single. Junior shortstop A.J. Corradi (Youngstown, Ohio) and junior second baseman Alexa Fike (Export, Pa.) each collected a pair of hits for the Tomcats. First year starting pitcher Mackenzie Gullette (Dunlap, Ill.) improved to 3-1 with the complete game victory, allowing three runs (two earned) on eight hits and four walks, while striking out five in seven innings.
Thiel erased a 2-0 deficit with a three runs in the bottom of the first, keyed by Reesman. First year right fielder Leah Woytek (Hillsville, Pa.) and Corradi put together back-to-back singles to open the frame, before Falce cracked a double to right-center field to plate Woytek with the Tomcats' first run. Two outs later, Falce stood on third and sophomore left fielder Jessica Kelley (Sarver, Pa.) drew a four-pitch walk to put runners on the corners for Reesman. She came through with a double to the left field fence to bring home both runners and give Thiel a 3-2 edge.
The Tomcats tacked on an insurance run in the fourth when Fike opened the inning with a leadoff single, was pushed to second ahead of a walk by Woytek and later scored on a two-out single to center field off the bat of Carney to make it 4-2.
The Sharks looked to rally in the seventh after loading the bases with no outs courtesy of a leadoff single from Del Vacchio, a single from Hennessey and sophomore catcher Taylor LeBrun (Milford, Mass.) reaching on an error. Del Vacchio raced home on a sacrifice fly to center field from sophomore first baseman Alexandra Moleski (Bridgeport, Conn.) to cut the margin to 4-3. Gullette beared down for Thiel and got a full-count strikeout before inducing a pop-up to the pitching circle to end the contest.
Simmons opened the game with a pair of runs in the top of the first to take a 2-0 lead. Del Vacchio stroked a double to left center and came around to score on a single from Hennessey to right center for the first run of the game. The base knock also extended Hennessey's hitting streak to four straight games. Moleski later reached on an error and Hennessey scored on the play to give the Sharks an early two-run lead.
Simmons returns to action today when it takes on nationally-ranked number two Saint John Fisher College at 1:15 p.m., while the Tomcats play number 15 Coe College at the same time.