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Softball Splits With Holy Cross in PL Opener

March 22, 2014

 Photo Gallery  | Game 1 Boxscore | Game 2 Boxscore

EASTON, Pa. - Lafayette and Holy Cross opened Patriot League play on Saturday at Metzgar Fields with the Leopards claiming a 2-0 win in game one and the Crusaders returning the favor with a 5-1 decision in game two.  

In the opener, Melissa Robinson tossed the eighth shutout of her career and first of the season, passing Lauren Belowich '06 for first place on Lafayette's career shutout list.

Offensively the Leopards got things started in the third inning. Kristen Berger connected for a one-out double, and with two outs in the inning, Kristyn Marinelli (2-for-3) ripped a double over the glove of the centerfielder to plate Berger for the 1-0 lead.

Marinelli was a key to the Leopards adding an insurance run in the bottom of the sixth inning. She belted a Gennifer Durham offering near the wall in left centerfield. The next batter, cleanup hitter Victoria Vergona, ripped a ball to shortstop which took an awkward hop and bounded into leftfield. The Leopards stretched the lead to 2-0.

Meanwhile, Robinson and the Lafayette defense were cruising. They retired nine in a row from the fourth inning through the first batter of the seventh. In that final inning, Holy Cross advanced a runner to second base with two outs, but Robinson punctuated her first shutout of the season with a called third strike for the final out of the game.

Robinson (2-5) struck out three, scattering six hits with a walk. Durham (1-4) allowed two runs on seven hits with a walk and five strikeouts.

In game two, Holy Cross broke a 1-1 tie with four runs on four hits in the sixth for the 5-1 final.

Lafayette (2-12, 1-1) benefitted from a pair of Holy Cross errors in the bottom of the third inning to score its only run of the game. Amy Gebhardt reached base when starting pitcher Julia Barrett misplayed a spinning groundball. Kelly Lallis moved Gebhardt into scoring position with a sacrifice bunt. Then, Berger hit a fly ball that the centerfielder dropped and allowed Gebhardt to score. Lafayette led 1-0.

Holy Cross knotted the game at 1-1 in the top of the fifth. The Crusaders loaded the bases with two outs. Marinelli offered a pitch in the dirt that got away from Lafayette catcher Jenna Kulback. Kulback quickly gathered it, tossed it to Marinelli who was covering home and the runner, Sarah Free, was called "safe" on a close play at the plate.

The Crusaders (2-8, 1-1) opened the sixth inning with two singles, the second by Alex Gustafson which scored Kylee Malouf and chased Marinelli from the circle in favor of Robinson. Emma Keough (double) and Kane (2 RBI-single) combined to plate three runs in the decisive inning.

Marinelli (0-2) took the loss, allowing three runs on five hits with a walk and a strikeout. Robinson surrendered two runs on three hits in two innings with three strikeouts and a walk. Barrett (1-3) was credited with the victory, giving up just one unearned run on five hits with four strikeouts.

Lafayette and Holy Cross will close out the three-game series on Sunday beginning at noon.