The Elizabethtown College women’s softball team began a stretch of six games in four days when the Blue Jays hosted Ursinus College for a doubleheader on April 9.
In game one, the Bears struck first with a run in the top of the first inning off of Blue Jays’ starter, junior Keli Krause. Etown tied the game at one when Krause helped her own cause with an RBI single up the middle to score senior Kaylee Werner in the second inning.
Ursinus put together a two-out rally in the third inning off of Krause, scoring three runs to lead 4-1 after three innings. For the most part, the Blue Jays offense was kept in check by Ursinus starter, Zoe Heinke. The Blue Jays strung together a few baserunners in the sixth inning to cut into the Bears lead when senior Jessica White ripped a double to right center field to score fellow senior Payton Marunich.
White finished the game with two hits to lead the Blue Jays, who fell 7-3 to the Bears in game one.
In game two, the Bears jumped out to a 5-0 lead after two and a half innings before the Blue Jays struck to get back into the game. Sophomore Kirstin Blass’s two-RBI double in the third inning cut the deficit to 5-2.
The Blue Jays would get as close as 5-3 before Ursinus tacked on a run in the top of the seventh to take game two 6-4. The Bears did not trail at any point in either game. Etown’s starting pitcher, senior Laura Tomasetti, pitched a complete game, finishing with three strikeouts.
On Friday, the Blue Jays traveled to the familiar confines of Messiah College to square off against their former Middle Atlantic Conference rival. The Falcons played a near perfect game in game one, allowing just one hit over five innings en route to a 9-0 win over the Blue Jays. Etown’s leadoff hitter, senior Becky Becher, began the game with a double—the only hit the Blue Jays would manage off Messiah’s pitchers.
The Falcons struck for one run in the first, five runs in the second, and three runs in the fourth to account for all nine runs.
Game two turned out to be a very competitive contest between the old rivals. The Blue Jays scored in their first at bat to take a 1-0 lead. Becher led off game two the way she led off game one, with a hit. Blass then laid down a sacrifice bunt to move Becher over to second base. Marunich and White strung together back-to-back hits to score Becher for the game’s first run. White’s RBI single was her team-leading 12th RBI of the season.
The Blue Jays scored twice more in the second inning to take a 3-0 lead after an inning and a half of play. However, the Falcons were not dead in the water. Messiah scored once in the second, third, fifth and finally the bottom of the seventh to take game two, 4-3 over the visiting Blue Jays. Etown was held scoreless over the final five innings.
Becher led the Blue Jays with three hits in four at-bats. Krause pitched six and one-third innings, striking out five batters. Messiah’s Becky Notte connected on a Krause pitch in the bottom half of the seventh inning and sent it over the fence for the walk-off win.
The Blue Jays were hoping to pull out a victory in their doubleheader on Sunday against Landmark Conference opponent, the University of Scranton. In game one, the Royals and Blue Jays fought to a scoreless tie through three innings before Scranton got on the board in the top of the fourth inning with three runs. Etown answered with one run in the bottom half of the inning, and two more in the fifth to tie the game at three.
White knocked in Etown’s runs in the fourth, fifth and seventh inning, finishing with four RBI’s and three hits in the game. Scranton scored two in the sixth and wound up on the better side of a 5-4 decision. Tomasetti struck out two batters in a complete game outing for the Blue Jays.
In game two, the Blue Jays were looking to snap a five-game losing streak. Etown handed Krause the ball on the mound and she delivered, striking out 10 Royals, her third game this season with at least 10 strikeouts. She pitched a complete game, which went to eight innings after the two teams were tied at four after the regulation seven innings.
The Blue Jays jumped out to a three run lead in the first inning with Krause helping out her own cause with a two-RBI single. Etown had a 4-0 lead after two innings, but they would not score again until the final inning. Scranton scratched out a run in the third, fifth, and two runs in the seventh inning to tie the game at four and force extra innings.
Krause pitched a perfect eighth inning including her final two strikeouts, handing it over to her offense with a chance to win the game. Sophomore Kelsey Brown singled to lead off the inning and eventually moved over to third base on junior Maeve McGill’s single. With one out in the inning, Becher drove a pitch deep enough to center field to allow Brown to tag up from third base and score the game winning run.
Becher collected three hits on the afternoon and extending her hitting streak to five games. Krause earned her third victory on the mound this season.
The Blue Jays took on Lancaster Bible yesterday in a non-conference doubleheader at The Nest.
Etown took both games over Lancaster Bible by scores of 11-0 and 4-0. The pitching and defense shined for the Blue Jays, but on the offensive side, Brown belted two home runs in game one. In game two, White hit a home run of her own to pace the Blue Jays.
The Blue Jays will return to Landmark Conference play on Saturday when they host Drew University for a doubleheader.