TITUSVILLE, Fla. – First year Maddie Castigliego (Bristol, R.I.) hit a three-run home run in her first collegiate at-bat and senior first base Dom Ortiz (Lawrence, Mass.) cracked a three-run double to lead the Simmons University softball team over Randolph College, 12-3, this afternoon at Chain of Lakes Park in Titusville, Fla. as part of the Sunkissed Games. The game was halted after five innings, due to the eight-run mercy rule. The Sharks improve to 1-1 on the season, while the Wildcats fall to 5-2.
Castigliego and Ortiz both finished the day with three runs batted in for Simmons. Castigliego's blast marked the first time in at least 11 years that the Sharks have had a first year player homer in their first-ever plate appearance. Junior second base Lauren Del Vacchio (Murrieta, Calif.) and sophomore shortstop Marissa Santoro (Franklin, Mass.) each collected a pair of hits, knocked in a run and scored a run. Sophomore right fielder Sydney DeVogt (Exeter, N.H.) scored a pair of runs and drove in a run with a double and classmate Ivy Vann (Bend, Ore.) scored twice from the top of the lineup and singled home a run. Senior right-hander Tori Gomes (Taunton, Mass.) (1-0) earned the victory from the pitching circle, yielding three runs on four hits and two walks in five complete innings.
First year center fielder Nadia Tibbs (Lynchburg, Va.) led Randolph with a run-scoring double and a run scored, while first year shortstop Delaney Nuckols (Rockville, Va.) singled and scored a run. Junior righty Abbi Pannill (Prince George, Va.) (1-2) suffered the loss for the Wildcats, allowing 10 runs on six hits and three walks without recording an out.
The Sharks scored 10 times in the bottom of the first inning to effectively put the game out of reach right from the start. The 10-run output marked the first time that Simmons had scored 10 runs in an inning since they tallied 10 at Anna Maria College in the fourth inning on April 28, 2018. It was the first time the Sharks had plated 10 runs in the first frame since they scored 10 vs. Albertus Magnus College on April 10, 2011. The first 10 batters all reached safely and all scored for Simmons, highlighted by a three-run double from Ortiz and a home run to left center field off the bat of Castigliego. Santoro, Vann and Del Vacchio all knocked in a run with respective singles during the frame as 14 hitters came to bat during the inning.
Randolph got a run back in the top of the second when senior third base Taylor Craft (Alta Vista, Va.) and first year second base Madison Brown (Forest, Va.) each drew one-out walks and Craft later scored on a two-out error by the Sharks shortstop to make it 10-1.
The Wildcats put two more runs on the board in third to pull to within 10-3. Nuckols smacked a leadoff single through the left side and came around to score on a one-out double to right field off the bat of Tibbs. Tibbs advanced to third on a wild pitch and raced home on a sacrifice fly to right field from first year Hailey Thomas (Montpelier, Va.) for the third Randolph run.
Simmons pushed its lead past eight again with a two-run fourth inning. First year third base Alex Morang (Windham, Maine) stroked a single to right for her first collegiate hit, before being lifted for sophomore pinch-runner Carrie St. Peter (Chester, N.H.), who stole second base. DeVogt followed with a booming double that landed in front of the right field fence to plate St. Peter. DeVogt later scored on a wild pitch and a throwing error by the catcher to give the Sharks a dozen runs.
Simmons returns to action tomorrow at 2:30 p.m. when it takes on St. John Fisher College at the Randy Larson Complex in Plant City, Fla., while the Wildcats play Ohio Northern University at 12:15 at the same location.