Softball Falls to MSOE 7-0, Tops Northland 11-4 on First Day in Florida

Softball Falls to MSOE 7-0, Tops Northland 11-4 on First Day in Florida

FORT MYERS, Fla.- The Eastern Nazarene College softball team absorbed a 7-0 loss to Milwaukee School of Engineering before bouncing back to defeat Northland 11-4 Saturday afternoon at Century Link Complex.

The Lions open the season with a 1-1 record. The Engineers improve to 3-4 overall while the Lumberjills sink to 0-10 on the year.

Kaitlyn Jimenez (Meriden, Conn.) paced Eastern Nazarene with six base hits on the day, including a 5-for-5 performance at the plate against Northland. Jimenez also finished with three runs scored, one RBI and one stolen base.

Krystal Holl (Smithsburg, Md.) notched three hits, drove in four RBIs and crossed the plate once. Carissa Cicolini (Methuen, Mass.) registered three base knocks and plated a pair of RBIs while also pitching two complete games. Rachel Henry (Lowell, Mass.) landed two hits, scored twice and picked up two RBIs.

In their first contest of the day, the Lions dropped a 7-0 decision to Milwaukee School of Engineering (MSOE).

The Raiders grabbed a one-run edge in the top of the first as Gabbi Garcia came around to score from second base as Kailey Smith grounded out.

MSOE added a pair of runs in the third to build a 3-0 lead. Garcia crossed the plate on an error before Caitlin Moran sliced a single down the right field line to drive in Smith.

In the top of the fourth, Lauren Boyle trotted home to extend the Raiders' lead to 4-0.

MSOE plated three runs in the seventh to take a 7-0 lead. Beth Young drove in Alex Cook as both players laced doubles to centerfield. Young came around to score as Moran reached base on an error before Moran motored home on a single down the left field line by Katie Ready.

Cicolini tossed a complete game and recorded three strikeouts. Callie Wightman pitched six and two-thirds innings for the Raiders and struck out five batters to pick up the win.

In its second game of the day, Eastern Nazarene fell behind early as Northland scored twice in the bottom of the first inning. Crystal Diaz stroked a double to right-centerfield to drive in Kaitlyn Witthun from second base. With the bases loaded, Hattie Hoffman laced a single through the left side of the infield to plate Diaz.

The Lions got on the board in the top of the second, utilizing a three-run surge to seize a 3-2 edge. Holl landed a bases-loaded single in shallow centerfield to drive in Paulina Gonzales (Highlands Ranch, Colo.) from third base and Sterling Germani (North Kingstown, R.I.) and Cicolini each followed with a walk as Henry crossed the plate with the equalizer and Jimenez scored the go-ahead run.

The Lumberjills reclaimed a one-run edge with two scores in the second inning. Alecea Piper scored on a single up the middle by Witthun. Witthun came around to cross the plate on a single to left-centerfield by Diaz.

Eastern Nazarene erupted for five runs in the third to jump out to an 8-4 lead. Katherine Paul (Milford, N.H.) scooted home as Henry reached on a fielder's choice. Holl stepped to the dish with the bases full and cleared the bags with one swing as she roped a double to deep left field to drive in Gabby Humphreys (Hopewell Junction, N.Y.), Jimenez and Henry. After Holl advanced to third on a wild pitch, Cicolini plated her with a line-drive single to center.

The Lions tacked on a run in the fourth to widen the gap to 9-4. Gonzales scurried home from second base as Jimenez landed a base hit just inside fair territory behind first base.

Eastern Nazarene notched its 10th run of the game in the top of the sixth inning. Humphreys raced home all the way from first base on a two-out double by Henry.

The Lions added a run in the top of the seventh to stretch their lead to 11-4. Jimenez led off the frame with a single and stole second base before advancing to third on a sacrifice bunt. Shelby Bass (Visalia, Calif.) drove in Jimenez from third base with a single through the left side of the infield.

Cicolini hurled seven innings and struck out two batters en route to earning her first win of the season.

Up next, Eastern Nazarene continues play in the Sunshine State with clashes against Emmanuel and Bethany Lutheran March 9.