Plimpton sets career softball strikeout record as Saints sweep
St. Lawrence University sophomore pitcher Kyle Plimptonset the program record for career strikeouts as the Saints earned a sweep on Monday evening in Clermont, FL.
St. Lawrence, which improved to 4-2 on the season, topped Westfield St. in the first game 4-1 before downing Franciscan in five innings, 16-1.Entering the day seven strikeouts shy of the career record, Plimpton set the new bar in the fourth inning against Westfield, passing the previous record-holder Rachel Duffany's mark of 194. The Williamsville, NY native earned her second win of the season, allowing four hits, no earned runs, and finishing with 11 strikeouts total.
McGinley was also solid on the mound today as she faced Franciscan and allowed just three hits in five innings with six strike outs and an errorless defense behind her. The SLU pitching staff allowed a combined seven hits in 12 innings of work on Monday.
In game 1, the Saints' defense forced two quick outs in the first, but Plimpton ran into a little trouble as she walked Breanne Bisceglia, who moved to third base on a single by Molly Dunbar. Bisceglia scored on a St. Lawrence miscue on Kelsey Carpenter's infield hit, but Plimpton struck out the next batter to end the inning with Westfield leading 1-0.
St. Lawrence answered as Leslie Stratton led the inning off with a single to right field and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt from Aisha O'Connor. After she was moved to third on Lauren Weisbarth's sacrifice fly, a passed ball allowed Stratton to score and tied the game 1-1. The Saints had a pair of 2-out infield hits, but Westfield pitcher Kelley Fluet got out of the inning.
In the second inning, the Owls rallied with two outs, landing runners on second and third on base hits. Plimpton, however, ended the inning with another strikeout. The Saints would take a 2-1 lead in the third inning when Stratton drew a walk, stole second and scored on a double ripped to right center by Weisbarth. Chelsea Cavellier smacked a hard line drive to center, but the Westfield defense was there to make the out to end the inning.
In the sixth inning, Liz McGinley and Cavellier hit back-to-back singles to place runners on first and second with no outs. Brady Cooper laid down a perfect sacrifice bunt to move the runners up a base, then Cailyn Welsh hit an RBI single to left that brought home a run. Welsh stole second base on the next play, and an errant throw by Westfield's catcher allowed Cavellier to score while Welsh moved to third. Audra Caine hit a hard line drive on the next play, but Westfield's third basemen handled it and tagged Welsh out on the play to end the inning.
Westfield's Celena Sinico singled in the seventh inning to try to start a rally, but Plimpton struck out two more batters, and O'Connor made a phenomenal defensive play at shortstop, diving into foul territory to make the third out and end the game.
Chelsea Cavellier was 2-for-3 and scored a run for the Saints, while McGinley also went 2-for-3. Stratton was 1-for-2 against the Hawks with two runs and Weisbarth and Welsh each had a hit and an RBI.
In game 2, the Saints jumped out to an early 2-0 lead as Stratton and Natasha Bell led the inning off with back-to-back infield base hits. Franciscan throwing errors allowed both to score before the defense made three straight outs to end the inning.
The Barons answered back with a run as Rebecca Peters came around to score on a base hit from Mallori Linscomb. After the Saints got out of the inning, they kept things rolling offensively, scoring 14 runs on 11 hits over the next four innings. Franciscan, which was limited to one pitcher on the day, had no relief for Molly Clarahan, who allowed 13 hits, nine earned runs and walked nine.
Bell led the Saints in game two as she went 4-for-4, all infield hits, with two runs and four RBIs. Stratton was 2-for-4 with two runs and an RBI, while Weisbarth knocked in three runs and scored two of her own. Welsh was 2-for-4, both doubles, with two runs scored and an RBI.
McGinley pitched five innings, allowing just three hits and striking out six. She also had an errorless defense behind her.