CLERMONT, Fla.- The Eastern Nazarene College softball team suffered a 3-0 setback to York (Pa.) before earning a 9-3 win over Houghton on the first day of the 2018 season Friday at the PFX Spring Games in Florida.
The Lions progress to 1-1 on the year with the results. The Spartans improve to 6-3 overall while the Highlanders slide to 1-6.
Lauren Clements (Garrison, Texas) notched three base hits and three RBIs on the day. Dominique Santos (Lancaster, Calif.) posted three hits, two RBIs, and a pair of runs scored in her first collegiate games. Emily Gomez (Floral Park, N.Y.) registered two base knocks, three RBIs, and one run scored. Lauren Weidler (Lansdale, Pa.) chipped in with a pair of hits, one run and one RBI while Kori Bow (Shaftsbury, Vt.) added two base knocks and crossed the dish once.
In the season-opening contest against York, Eastern Nazarene managed just a pair of base hits as it dropped a 3-0 decision.
The Spartans plated a pair of runs in the top of the first inning to snag a 2-0 lead. Ashley Meekins scored on a sacrifice bunt before Eryn Bailey stole home.
York tacked on a run in the fifth to widen the gap to 3-0. Madison Bowen crossed the plate as Savannah Galati reached on a fielder's choice.
Elisabeth Schaffer (Benton, Pa.) pitched four innings and struck out four batters in her first start of the season. Weidler worked three innings of relief and fanned three in her first pitching appearance since her rookie campaign.
Eastern Nazarene bounced back in its second game of the day, racking up 15 hits to top Houghton 9-3 in the first-ever meeting between the two teams.
The Lions raced out to an early 3-0 lead with three runs in the top of the first inning. With the bases loaded, Clements roped a doubled to center to drive in Santos and Viviana Coix (Warrenville, Ill.). Emily Gomez plated Weidler from third base with a single to left field.
The Highlanders responded with a pair of scores in the home half of the first to cut the deficit to 3-2. Katie Jones and Taylor Sile both crossed the dish in the inning for Houghton.
Eastern Nazarene regained a three-run advantage with two runs in the second. Jenessa Huerta (El Monte, Calif.) motored home from second on a single by Weidler and Clements followed with a sacrifice fly to score Santos from third base.
The Lions tacked on three runs in the third to extend the margin to 8-2. Emily Gomez collected her second RBI of the game with a single to right to drive in Bow. With two runners in scoring position, Santos laced a single up the middle to plate Emily Gomez and Kayleen Garrick (Sparks, Nev.).
Eastern Nazarene added a score in the fourth to push its lead to 9-2. Emily Gomez knocked in her third RBI of the day as she lifted a sacrifice fly and Rebecca Hayner (Halfmoon, N.Y.) tagged up and scampered home.
Houghton tallied a run in the bottom of the fifth inning to trim the gap to 9-3. After Sile tripled to right to leadoff the frame, Rogers grounded out to third to score Sile.
Heidi Gomez (Floral Park, N.Y.) hurled 4.1 innings and recorded three strikeouts in her 37th career start in the pitcher's circle. Schaffer threw 2.2 innings in her eighth career relief appearance and finished with four strikeouts.
Up next, Eastern Nazarene continues play in the Sunshine State March 3 against Rosemont and Wheaton (Ill.).