CLERMONT, Fla.- The reigning New England Collegiate Conference champion Eastern Nazarene College softball team defeated Capital 4-2 before absorbing a 6-5 setback to Cabrini in the first games of the 2020 season Friday afternoon at the PFX Spring Games in Florida.
The Lions progress to 1-1 on the spring with the results while the Crusaders drop to 2-6 on the year and the Cavaliers improve to 4-4 overall.
Darcy Castro (Garden Grove, Calif.) notched five hits, three runs scored, a pair of RBIs, and one stolen base in her first collegiate games. Taylor Brandt (Napa, Calif.) opened her collegiate career with five base knocks, two RBIs, and one run scored. Adriana Montuya (American Canyon, Calif.) posted two hits, two RBIs, and one run scored on the day. Kiley Ozaki (Ewa Beach, Hawaii) recorded three hits, one RBI, and one run scored.
In game one, Eastern Nazarene downed Capital 4-2 in the first-ever meeting between the two teams.
The Lions seized a 1-0 edge in the bottom of the fourth inning. Castro scampered home from third on a sacrifice fly off the bat of Kori Bow (Shaftsbury, Vt.).
The Crusaders responded with a pair of runs in the top of the fifth to claim a 2-1 lead. Erica Ogden singled to centerfield to drive in Alyx Slusher and Hannah Martin with two outs.
Eastern Nazarene plated three runs in the home half of the fifth frame to capture a 4-2 advantage. Brandt collected her first collegiate RBI with a two-out base knock to centerfield to score Jenessa Huerta (El Monte, Calif.). Castro registered her first career RBIs as she scorched a single up the middle to knock in Bailey Olaveson (Lakeside, Calif.) and Brandt.
Senior Elisabeth Schaffer (Benton, Pa.) spun her 61st career complete-game and finished with eight strikeouts while allowing no earned runs.
In the squad's second contest of the day, Eastern Nazarene's comeback bid fell just short in a 6-5 loss to Cabrini.
The Cavaliers tallied a run in the bottom of the first inning to establish a 1-0 advantage. Olivia Young singled to centerfield to drive in Aysiah Cintron from third base.
The Lions leveled the game at 1-1 with a run in the top of the third. Ozaki roped a double to center to plate Dominique Santos (Lancaster, Calif.) from second.
Cabrini answered with two runs in the home half of the frame to reclaim the lead, 3-1. Young tripled to right field to knock in Cintron and Faith Pitsikoulis followed with an RBI base knock to score Young.
Eastern Nazarene pulled even with a pair of scores in the fourth, 3-3, as Montuya blasted her first home run of the spring to drive in Castro.
The Cavaliers chalked up three runs in the bottom of the fourth to grab a 6-3 advantage. Amber Seaman laced a bases-clearing double to plate Jess Redding, Carolyn Alcantara, and Cintron.
The Lions scored twice in the fifth inning to trim the deficit to 6-5. Brandt raked a one-out single to right field to knock in Ozaki. Yaya Bowden (Danbury, Conn.) landed her first collegiate hit and picked up her first career RBI with a two-out double to drive in Castro.
In her debut pitching appearance for the Lions, Montuya tossed a complete game and recorded a pair of strikeouts.
Up next, Eastern Nazarene continues play in the Sunshine State February 29 against York (Pa.) and Franklin.