After four quiet performances at the plate, the D'Youville softball team was due for a big day and that's what it got in Sunday's opening 6-5 victory over St. Thomas Aquinas College at Dobson Field. The Saints were three outs away from a sweep over the Spartans in the rematch, but a seventh-inning rally saw first place STAC, playing as the hosts, escape Porter Avenue with a 3-2 win.
The East Coast Conference split moved D'Youville to 8-12 on the season and 3-11 in league play, while the Spartans ended Sunday at 13-3 and 7-1 in the ECC, suffering their first conference setback in 2021.
Game One Recap
Junior right fielder Mikaela Milleville and sophomore Jamie Bower dealt the first blow of the afternoon in the top of the first inning. Milleville got on base with an infield single and, two batters later, Bower drove her all the way home with a double down the right field line. STAC answered with two runs in the bottom of the second inning courtesy of two D'Youville throwing errors on one play.
Senior shortstop Rachel Colan knotted the game back up at two with a third-inning triple down the left-field line, scoring Milleville, who reached on another infield single.
The Saints took control in the fourth with a single to left field by freshman first baseman Ava Miller where freshman designated player Lauren Booth scored on a fielding error during the play. Two batters later, freshman third baseman Lauren Vickers inflated the D'Youville lead to three runs at 5-2 with a blast to left field that bounced out of the STAC outfielder's glove, allowing Miller to score from first and Vickers to circle the bases as well.
Amanda Schweitzer picked up an RBI double and Amanda Castro followed suit with an RBI single to left to tighten the Saints' advantage to one run in the fifth.
After a scoreless sixth inning, Booth drove in a key insurance run, lacing a single up the middle and driving Colan in from second base. Castro made things interesting once more in the home half of the seventh with another RBI single. Castro was stranded at second base when senior pitcher Brittaney Goodrich got Nicolette MacDonald to fly out to center, handing the Spartans their first ECC defeat and snapping an eight-game losing skid for D'Youville.
Goodrich (3-4) guided the Saints to their third conference victory of the season in her second consecutive complete-game outing. In seven innings, she sent down three Spartans on strikes and walked two while allowing three earned runs on seven hits. Her counterpart in the circle, Carissa Della Vecchia, struck out two and walked none while surrendering two earned runs on six hits. Della Vecchia (7-1) didn't receive much help from her defense as three unearned runs were plated on five errors during her 3.2 innings in the circle as D'Youville became the first team to down Della Vecchia this season. Paige Toothaker replaced Della Vecchia, finishing the game with one strikeout and giving up one earned run on four hits.
Game Two Recap
STAC broke a scoreless deadlock in the bottom of the third inning with an RBI single courtesy of Elise Oliande. Bower tied the game in fourth, advancing home when the STAC catcher attempted to pick her off at third but ended up hitting the batter, senior pitcher Alexa Haberer, in the head and the ball bounced away. In the D'Youville's next trip to the plate in the fifth inning, Milleville grabbed another base hit, this time driving in junior second baseman Maddy Pepke to hand the Saints a 2-1 advantage.
The Spartans denied D'Youville the sweep in the bottom of the seventh with a pair of runs, highlighted by a walk-off sacrifice fly to center field from Oliande.
Haberer (4-5) fanned nine Spartans and issued three walks while surrendering two earned runs on 10 hits in the losing effort. Toothaker made her second appearance of the day, going the distance for STAC with two strikeouts and allowing one earned run on six hits.
Notables – Four Saints hit safely multiple times in the twin-bill split, led by Colan (4-for-7, one triple, one RBI, one stolen base), Pepke (4-for-8, one run scored, one stolen base), Milleville (3-for-7, one RBI, two runs scored), and Bower (2-for-7, double, one RBI, one run scored) … Sunday's contests marked Pepke's 10th and 11th multi-hit games of the season ... The Spartans left 15 runners on base compared to 12 left stranded by D'Youville … Mistakes in the field prevented both teams from taking both games as STAC made seven errors while the Saints committed five.
Up Next – The Saints will have six days off before a pair of doubleheaders next weekend, hosting Staten Island and Queens. The twin-bill with CSI is set to begin at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, April 24, from Dobson Field.