Softball Drops Twinbill in Final Day of Florida Trip

Erica Merullo '18
Erica Merullo '18

Leesburg, Fla. – The Trinity College softball team dropped a doubleheader on Friday in the team's final day of its Florida trip to move to 6-4 overall as the Bantams return to Hartford on Saturday for the remainder of their northern schedule. Trinity fell, 1-0 in extras, in the day's first game against the Framingham State Rams before losing a 13-2 ballgame against the Clarkson Golden Knights. The Bantams return to Connecticut after an overall, impressive trip to the Sunshine State. The squad posted a .298 batting average, .368 on base percentage and scored 4.6 runs per game through the first nine games.

Game one turned out to be a pitcher's duel between Framingham State starting pitcher Kelsi Gunarathne (North Providence, R.I.) and Bantam rookie starter Lindsay Golia (North Branford, Conn.). Both pitchers allowed just a pair of hits each in complete-game efforts as Golia finished with five strikeouts while Gunarathne tallied seven.

Both arms kept each team's offense at bay for the full seven innings to force extra innings. Trinity looked like it had won the game in the bottom of the seventh when sophomore Courtney Erickson (Everett, Mass.) hit a towering fly ball deep to right, but Ram rightfielder Dayna Marchant (East Bridgewater, Mass.) made a heroic catch as she leapt over the fence to make the catch, robbing the would be walk-off homerun, and keeping Framingham State alive.

Extra innings were played under international tiebreak rules which place the last out from the previous inning at second base to start the inning. Framingham State used Kirsten Dick (Tewksbury, Mass.) as a pinch-runner to start out at second base, who eventually came across the plate as the go-ahead run. Golia induced consecutive outs which brought Marchant to the plate who once again came up clutch for the Rams. Marchant ripped a single to centerfield which scored Dick to give Framingham State the one-run lead.

In the home half, first-year Meghan Golia (North Branford, Conn.) started at second base and was moved over to third on a well-placed sacrifice bunt by classmate Nikki Andersen (Dunbarton, N.H.). Senior captain Victoria Baez (Tuckahoe, N.Y.) followed with a hard hit ball to shortstop but Framingham State gunned down Golia at the plate to preserve the 1-0 lead and record the second out of the inning. After stealing second base, junior Mandi Paine (Moultonborough, N.H.) pinch-ran for Baez with junior Meaghan Race (Grand Rapids, Mich.) at the plate.  Race smoked a single back up the middle as Paine rounded third to head for home, but Ram centerfielder Mycala Moody (North Attleboro, Mass.) came up throwing and tossed a dime to catcher Marissa Flynn (Marlborough, Mass.) who applied the tag to end the game.

 Clarkson jumped out to a quick lead in the top of the first inning in game two thanks to a three-run blast by Michele Winn (Latham, N.Y.) that came after a run scored on a fielder's choice. Trinity sophomore Nicole Towner (Erie, Colo.) cut into the deficit in the home half of the third with an RBI-single to centerfield that scored Erickson, but the Golden Knight offense proved to be too much for a Bantam comeback.

Summer Lancette (Oneida, N.Y.) and Ali Schwenzfeier (East Haddam, Conn.) each doubled in the top of the fifth to plate a total of three runs and open up an 8-1 lead for Clarkson. Trinity then got one back in the bottom of the inning thanks to an RBI-single off the bat of junior Erica Merullo (Lynnfield, Mass.).

Clarkson put the game away in the top of the sixth before holding the Bantams in the home half to clinch the six-inning victory. Winn drew a bases loaded walk to get the scoring going before a grand slam by Liz Caggiano (Victor, N.Y.) put an exclamation mark on the win for the Golden Knights.