Stefanon, regionally-ranked #2 Cardinals outlast Saints softball team
The St. Lawrence University softball team nearly ended regionally-ranked #2 St. John Fisher's 10-game winning streak on Sunday afternoon, but dominating pitching performances by Cardinal senior pitcher Sarah Stefanon helped the visitors extend their streak to 12 with a two-game sweep of the Saints.
Stefanon's two-hit outing in the opening pitchers' duel and an RBI-double from Kayla Goodberlet led the visitors to a 1-0 eight inning victory in game one. Fisher used that momentum in the second game, posting 13 hits en route to a 7-2 victory and the road sweep.The Cardinals improve to 29-11 on the season and were led offensively by Goodberlet's 4-for-6 performance, including two triples and a double, with three RBIs and two runs scored. Danielle Leone was also 4-for-6 for Fisher with two RBIs, while Krista Robarge and Jessie Smyrski added three this apiece.
St. Lawrence falls to 19-15 on the season but received a stellar pitching performance from sophomore Kyle Plimpton in the opening game. Leslie Stratton was 2-for-5 on the day for the Saints with a run scored, while Aisha O'Connor was 2-for-6. Becky Allen had a 2-RBI single in the second game of the day.
Game one was a pitcher's duel that went seven scoreless innings before Fisher tallied the game's only run in the top of the eighth. An RBI-double from Goodberlet down the left field line broke the scoreless tie as she hit home teammate Meghan Burns from second base for what proved to be the game-winning run. Stefanon earned her 17th win of the season in the two-hitter, striking out 13 batters and walking one.
Plimpton suffered the loss on the mound to move to 9-8 on the season despite an impressive complete-game outing in which she struck out 13 batters. The Williamsville, NY native also had a solid Saint defensive effort behind her, which included a diving catch by senior catcher Chelsea Cavellier in foul territory to make a key out in the seventh inning.
St. Lawrence's best opportunity to score came in the fifth inning when O'Connor led off with a bunt single and then moved to third base on Allen and Lauren Weisbarth's at-bats. Stefanon, however, pitched out of the inning to keep the score tied 0-0.
In the second game of the day, Fisher wasted no time getting things going offensively, scoring in the first inning off an RBI-triple from Goodberlet. She plated Burns, who reached on an error, before crossing home plate herself on Leanne Merchant's sacrifice fly, putting the Cardinals up 2-0.
St. Lawrence responded in the bottom of the inning as Stratton led the Saints off with a single to left field and moved to second on Natasha Bell's sac bunt. Cavellier followed with an infield single to put runners on first and second. After Stefanon struck out the next batter, O'Connor ripped a single through the left side to load the bases. A single up the middle from Allen on the next at-bat brought Stratton and Cavellier home to even the score 2-2.
The visitors would get two more runs in the fifth inning on five hits. Smyrski led off with a single, and after the Saints made two outs, consecutive hits from Fordyce, Leone, Lauren Owens and Robarge put the visitors up 4-2.
Goodberlet came through for Fisher once again in the sixth, hitting another RBI-triple to bring home Burns, who led the inning off with a single. Merchant followed with a sacrifice fly, but reached on a St. Lawrence miscue. She would score from second base on Leone's single through the left side to cap Fisher's scoring in the 7-2 win.
Stefanon earned her second victory of the day in game two, allowing two runs on five hits, while striking out eight. McGinley suffered the loss on the mound for St. Lawrence as she gave up 13 hits, five earned runs while striking out four batters.