Lafayette Earns Doubleheader Split to Open PL Play
March 30, 2013
EASTON, Pa. - Lafayette was one out away from a Saturday sweep of Holy Cross in the opening weekend of Patriot League play, but a five-run seventh by the Crusaders forced the Saturday doubleheader split. The Leopards won game one 5-2 following a stellar outing from Melissa Robinson, but the Crusaders snatched a 6-4 win in the night cap.
In the series opener, Robinson went 3-for-3 with an RBI-double at the plate and also earned the pitching victory with six strikeouts.
In the first inning, Holy Cross managed two hits, but it was a throwing error attempting to cut down a stealing baserunner at second that led to the initial score. The decoy throw to second from Jenna Kulback sailed to centerfield.
The first and third situations paid off for the Leopards in the second inning. Allison Brown led off the inning with a double off the wall. Robinson then beat out an attempted sacrifice to place runners on the corners. Robinson started from first to attempt to draw a throw. An errant throw back to home from the middle infield allowed the Leopards to tie the game. Lafayette had runners on the corners again and scored in a similar fashion. This time, a throw to second to attempt to get Victoria Vergona stealing resulted in a pair of stolen bases and Robinson coming plateward. The Leopards led 3-1 after Madeline Allen lined out to left to score Vergona from third on a sac fly.
Lafayette tacked on two more in the third and was on its way to a victory in the Patriot League opener. Kristen Berger started the inning by reaching on a throwing error and later scored on a wild pitch. Robinson doubled to left to drive in Brittany Paul (single) as the Leopards led 5-1.
Robinson (5-8) handled things the rest of the way, allowing a lone run in the fifth while stranding two runners in the top of the seventh. She made the final out of the game, knocking down a hot groundball before throwing to first to end the threat. She allowed two runs (none earned) on four hits for her fifth win. Gennifer Durham (4-6) gave up five runs (one earned) on six hits in the loss.
Holy Cross (7-13, 1-1) started off game two the same way it did game one - with a single run, this time on Colleen Ahern's RBI-single. Robinson gave up a lead-off single in the second, but was in command during the middle innings, retiring 10 in a row before a lead-off single in the fifth.
The Leopards banged out four runs in the fourth inning. Lafayette tied the game with a squeeze bunt. Robinson laid it down and Paul (3-for-3), who had led off the inning with a single, beat the throw to home. With two runners aboard, Allison Thomas broke open the game with a three-run home run to centerfield, her first collegiate round-tripper.
Robinson gave up back-to-back hits to start the seventh and Holy Cross scored its first run on a fielder's choice. On the fielder's choice, Vergona had a chance for an out at first, but considered a throw to the plate before deciding to hold the ball.
It still looked like the Leopards were going to be able to hang on. With two outs in the inning, Alex Gustafson (3-for-4) lifted a ball to right which should have been the final out of the game, but Thomas lost it in the sun. Three runs scored, giving Holy Cross a 5-4 lead. Another defensive miscue by Kristen Berger led to another run and a 6-4 margin.
The Leopards (6-13, 1-1) were retired in order in the seventh as Julia Barrett (3-5) collected the victory. She allowed four runs on six hits. Robinson was touched up for six runs (five earned) on five hits.
The two teams will get back to it on Easter Sunday with the first pitch of a doubleheader scheduled for noon.