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Pitching Highlights Softball’s Split with Queens in Regular Season Finale

Alexa Haberer vs. Hilbert on March 20, 2021.
Alexa Haberer vs. Hilbert on March 20, 2021.

Using a complete-game, two-hit shutout by senior Alex Haberer in the opener, the D'Youville softball team managed to split an East Coast Conference doubleheader with Queens College on Sunday afternoon at the QC Softball Field in Flushing, N.Y. On the back of Haberer, the Saints took the first game, 1-0, before the Knights put together a last-ditch comeback to win the nightcap, 3-2, in eight innings.

Moving to 13-17 on the season, the Saints finish ECC play at 8-16, while the Knights shifted to 3-19 overall and in the league standings.

Game One Recap

Haberer was matched for most of the first game by Queens starter Emma Wimmer, as the right-handers both posted scoreless frames through the first four innings.

It was Wimmer who would falter first, as a fielding error by her defense allowed junior center fielder Carly Milleville to reach base and take second. Milleville was then able to take third on a groundout by sophomore left fielder Maeve Finney, bringing lead-off hitter and junior second baseman Maddy Pepke to the plate. Pepke delivered, using her speed to beat out an infield single that scored Milleville and broke the scoreless tie.

Queens threatened in the bottom of the sixth, as Wimmer belted a ground-rule double to start the frame and advanced to third on a groundout. Haberer would strand her counterpart 90 feet away from home, inducing a pop-out and flyout from the next two Knight batters. In the seventh, Haberer got two quick outs before issuing her only walk of the game to Marisa Sagona, but closed out win on the next batter when Jessica Hickey flied out to right.

Haberer used weak contact all afternoon to pick up her sixth win of the season, surrendering just two hits and the one walk, doing so without recording a strikeout. Wimmer also went the distance, giving up five hits and the one unearned run in seven innings, striking out four Saints in the losing decision.

Game Two Recap

The back half of the doubleheader saw another pitching duel develop, as senior Brittaney Goodrich battled against Arianna Fracchioni for the first five innings.

The Saints would break up the scoreless contest in the sixth inning, as freshman Lauren Booth collected her fifth hit of the afternoon, driving in fellow freshman Ava Miller from second base with a single up the middle.

Pepke tacked on an insurance run in the top of the seventh, slashing a triple to left field that scored sophomore catcher Jamie Bower and made it 2-0 D'Youville.

The Knights rallied in the seventh, as Ann Grimshaw and Jenny Murphy singled to start the frame before Goodrich retired a pair of Queens batters. Down to her team's final out, Fracchioni made her impact felt on offense, tripling to right field and driving in both runners to tie the game at 2-2, sending the Knights and Saints in extra innings.

D'Youville could not do anything with a one-out double from senior shortstop Rachel Colan in the top of the eighth, which Queens capitalized on in the home half of the extra frame. Kristina Verruso singled to start the bottom of the eighth, was pushed to second on a sacrifice bunt and advanced to third off a groundout. Verruso then scored the game-winning run when Grimshaw notched an infield single, giving the Knights their first victory over the Saints.

Both starters eclipsed the 100-pitch mark, as Fracchioni allowed one earned run on eight hits and punching out three D'Youville batters to earn the victory, while Goodrich suffered the loss after giving up three runs and eight hits despite four strikeouts.

Notables – The Saints now lead the all-time series by a 3-1 margin … Junior right fielder Mikaela Milleville saw her on-base streak end at 21 games, tallying a hit in the opener but going 0-4 in the second game … Milleville's hitting streak was also snapped, finishing with 13-straight contests where she recorded a base hit … Pepke registered her 16th multi-hit performance of the season, picking up two hits in game two … Booth picked up her fourth and fifth multi-hit contests of the season, also matching her career high with three hits in the first game … With Sunday's opening win, Haberer has pitched eight complete games in 2021, giving her 41 in her career … D'Youville is now 0-3 this season in extra-inning affairs.

Up Next – D'Youville will wait to see if it is selected as one of the eight teams for the 2021 USCAA Small College World Series, with the selection show slated for 5:30 p.m. on May 6.