YORK, PA-The York College softball squad opened their stay in the 2008 Capital Athletic Conference tournament with a tough 5-0 loss to the University of Mary Washington on a sun-bathed Thursday afternoon in York. The Eagles, who are the three seed, improve to 24-15 overall while the Spartans, who are the two seed, fall to 22-9.
The trouble began early for the Spartans as Cathy Hull lead off the game and worked a full count before dumping a double in front of a diving Andrea Tombesi (Dallastown, Pa./Dallastown) in left. Kerri Spaulding then laid down a sacrifice bunt that Spartan third baseman Kelly Smith (Riverdale, Md./St. Vincent Palotti) went to third to get Hull. The throw was late as there were Eagles on the corners. Ashley Sifer put down another bunt that was fielded by starter Megan Mickles (Havertown, Pa./Haverford) but there was no coverage at first, forcing Mickles to hold on the ball, loading the bases without an out. Kaitlin Petrella then launched a double to deep center, scoring two to give the Eagles the early lead. It could have been worse for Mickles but the senior got a strikeout and a fly out to get two outs. On the fly out, Sifer appeared to leave third early as the Spartans appealed and got the key third out, keeping the damage at two runs.
The Eagles got back to it in the top of the third. Hull drilled a triple to deep right center and then came around to score when Spaulding singled to left. After Mickles got a fly out and a strikeout, she walked the next two hitters, loading the bases for Sarah Axleson. Axelson hit a little hump back liner over Mickles head that second baseman Amanda Atieh (West Milford, N.J./West Milford) scooped up and just nicked Axleson at first, avoiding further damage by the Eagles.
The Spartans had an outstanding scoring chance in the bottom of the third as Lindsay Wood (Owings, Md./Northern) drew a one out walk. Atieh then launched a high double to left, moving Wood to third as the Spartan offense was in business. Heather Bormann (Brick, N.J./Brick Memorial) then ripped a shot right at third baseman Sifer for the second out. Eagle starter Kirstin Rowell got Sam Lawrence (Bethlehem, Pa./Liberty) looking for the third out, ending the Spartan uprising.
The Eagles added to the lead in the sixth as Axelson singled to lead off the frame. Jaime Clevenger laid down a sacrifice bunt but pitcher Megan Lahner (Finksburg, Md./Westminster) unsuccessfully attempted to get pinch runner Carolyn Hannoch at second. Melissa Bjorklund sacrificed Hannoch and Clevenger to second and third. Hull brought home Hannoch with a single to left. The Eagles then attempted a double steal but Clevenger was cut down at the plate. Hull continued to run on the double steal and took third. She came home on a Spaulding single to short as the Eagle lead grew to 5-0.
That would be more than enough for Rowell as the right-hander tossed a three-hit shutout. She struck out four, walked two and hit one as she improves to 17-8 for the campaign.
Mickles suffered the loss as she allowed three runs on five hits with three strikeouts and two walks in her three innings of work. Mickles falls to 10-5 with the loss. Lahner relieved Mickles and allowed two runs on five hits with two walks and a strikeout in her four innings of relief.
Hull paced the Eagles, as the left fielder was 3-for-4 with three runs scored and an RBI. Spaulding was 2-for-3 with two RBI and a run scored. Petrella added a hit and two RBI with her first inning double.
Wood and Atieh each had a double for the Spartans while Tombesi had the Spartans’ other hit with her seventh inning single.
The Spartans will now face Hood in an elimination game of the CAC tournament. That game will be Saturday morning at 10:00 am at Salisbury University. Mary Washington advances to face Salisbury in winners bracket on Saturday. The Eagles and Sea Gulls tangle at 2:00 pm on Saturday.
Andrea Tombesi photo courtesy of Steve Doemland