UNION, N.J. (4/7/11) – The Kean University softball team dropped a doubleheader to #24 Lebanon Valley College in non-conference action on Thursday evening. The Cougars battled the Dutchmen to nine innings in the opener before falling 9-4 and LVC completed the sweep with a 6-2 win in the nightcap.
GAME ONE: Five-Run Ninth Inning Lifts Dutchmen, 9-4
Lebanon Valley College (16-5) exploded for five runs in the top of the ninth inning to take the back-and-forth battle, 9-5, in a nine-inning, two and a half hour opener.
With the game tied at 3-3 at the end of seven innings, the two teams traded runs in the eighth inning when LVC senior Meghan Donoghue had a RBI double and Kean sophomore Courtney Melchionna drove in the game-tying run with two outs in the bottom of the eighth on a RBI single up the middle.
In the top of the ninth, first baseman Allison Hartman was hit by a pitch to load the bases and second baseman Linley Eberhart earned the RBI one batter later when she was also hit by a pitch, scoring catcher Steffani Secola, who started the inning on second base, with the go-ahead run. Third baseman Mary Readinger followed with a single up the middle to score two, before right fielder Kristen Palmerio added a bases-loaded single to drive in the final two runs.
Lebanon Valley took a 1-0 lead in the second inning when Freeman led off with a homerun to left-center. The Cougars (6-12) took the lead with two runs in the bottom of the fifth as senior Lindsay Kennedy and rookie Megan Cegielski led off the inning with back-to-back walks and moved over into scoring position on the sacrifice bunt by junior shortstop Alicia Banz. Sophomore second baseman Katie Schuh followed with a single to right field to drive in Kennedy and Cegielski scored on the throwing error to give Kean the 2-1 lead.
The two teams exchanged runs in the sixth inning, as LVC took advantage of the Cougar error to tie the game, before freshman Kelly Moorehead gave Kean the 3-2 lead in the bottom half of the inning when she scored on the passed ball.
The Dutchmen tied the game and forced extra innings in the top of the seventh, as Freeman singled to centerfield to drive in Donoghue, who led off the inning with a double to left field.
Schuh and Melchionna each had one hit and one RBI for the Cougars. Sophomore Kim Prevedel took the loss, as she scattered 10 hits over the final seven innings of relief work.
For the Dutchmen, Freeman was 4-of-5 with two runs scored and two RBI.
GAME TWO: LVC Earns Sweep with 6-2 Win in Nightcap
Lebanon Valley College scored four runs in the third inning, as the Dutchmen completed the non-conference sweep with the 6-2 win in six innings, as the game was called due to darkness.
In the top of the third inning, senior Marisa Krause and freshman Allison Hartman each had two-run doubles to give the Dutchmen the 4-0 lead.
Kean got a run back in the bottom half of the inning when third baseman Courtney Melchionna was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to right fielder Megan Cegielski, who led the inning off with a walk.
The Dutchmen scored single runs in the fifth and sixth innings on a RBI double by Hartman and a homerun by junior Steph Hulme for the 6-1 lead.
A RBI double by Kean shortstop Alicia Banz drove in Cegielski, who had a two-out walk, to close out the scoring, before the game was called at the end of the inning due to darkness.
Senior right-hander picked up both wins to improve to 5-4, as she allowed just five hits and one earned run in a combined nine innings of work.
For the Cougars, rookie Rebecca Rotola (0-1) started her first career game, scattering 13 hits and allowing just one walk. At the plate, Banz and senior catcher Nicole Scarillo each had two hits.
Kean hosted Richard Stockton College in a New Jersey Athletic Conference doubleheader on Saturday, April 9, at 1 p.m.