Kissimmee, Fla. - March 16, 2017 - It was an impressive Thursday for the Springfield College softball team, as the Pride picked up a pair of wins over Lesley University and William Paterson on Thursday at the Oren Brown Community Park in Kissimmee, Fla.
Annually kicking off its season in Florida for Spring Break, the Pride improve to 7-1 overall on the season, its best start since the 1996 campaign. On Thursday, Carianna Gasdia (Wakefield, Mass.) and Allie Wheeler (Agawam, Mass.) aided Springfield College to a 6-3 win over Lesley, before Gabby Alfieri (Cornwall, N.Y.) and Talia Loda (East Haven, Conn.) led the Pride to a 2-0 shut-out win over William Paterson.
Up next, Springfield College will wrap up its Spring Break trip on Friday, March 17, when the Pride will take on Mt. Saint Mary (N.Y.) at 9 a.m. and Wisconsin - River Falls at 11:15 a.m.
Springfield College 6, Lesley 3 -- Game One
Behind 14 hits, four RBI for Gasdia and a first-career home run from Wheeler, the Springfield College softball team picked up a 6-3 win over Lesley on Thursday morning at Oren Brown Park.
With the win, the Pride is now 6-1 overall, while the Lynx are now 1-6 on the year.
Gasdia was impressive at the plate, as the junior went 4-for-4, picking up just as many RBI. Her performance was highlighted by a bases clearing double to left center in the top of the fifth inning, pushing the Pride's lead to five. Sophomore pitcher Shelby Allen (Oakland, N.J.) got the nod for Springfield College, and was strong in the circle as she threw 6.1 innings, only allowing four hits while striking out nine. Freshman Marisa Valenti (Trumbull, Conn.) came on to get the final two outs for the Pride.
Springfield College struck first in the top of the first, when Loda singled up the middle to lead things off, before she was bunted to second on a sacrifice bunt from Gasdia. Next up, Kirsten Drobiak (Griswold, Conn.) roped a double to left center, plating Loda to give the Pride a 1-0 lead.
In the top of the third, Springfield College would double its advantage when Wheeler took a pitch over the left field fence for her first-career home run, making it 2-0. Gasdia's three-run double in the top of the top of the fifth plated Loda, Sam Cox (Longmeadow, Mass.) and Allen to make it 5-0, Pride, before Lesley cut its deficit to three on a two-run double from Mekenzi Golden (Laguna Niguel, Calif.) in the bottom half of the frame.
Springfield College would regain its four-run lead in the top of the seventh when Gasdia poked one to right center, scoring Cox once again to make it 6-2. The Lynx would get one in the bottom of the seventh, but Valenti was able to get the Pride's final outs to seal the win.
Springfield College 2, William Paterson 0
With Alexyss Conley (Bloomingburg, N.Y.) on second base with one out in the bottom of the sixth inning, Alfieri pinch hit for Alicia Pavadore (Taunton, Mass.), and came up big, as the first year poked an RBI double to right center, plating Conley for the Pride's game-winning run against William Paterson.
Later in the inning, Alfieri would score on an error at second base to push Springfield College's lead to a pair, an advantage that proved to be enought for the Pride to pull out its seventh win in eight games to start the year.
With the loss, William Paterson is now 5-5 overall, as senior pitcher Allison Podmajersky (Red Bank, N.J.) falls to 1-5 on the year, as she took the loss after pitching 6.0 innings, giving up eight hits and two runs while striking out there.
Loda took the circle for the Pride in its second game of the day, and the junior was phenomenal, as she pitched a complete-game shutout, holding the Pioneers to just four hits while also striking out four batters. At the plate, the Pride was led by Wheeler and Kayla Padroff (Southington, Conn.), who both went 2-for-3 in the win.
It was a flat out pitcher's duel until the fifth inning, as both pitchers kept the opposition's bats quiet, but the Pride finall broke through when Padroff and Rachel Ball (Coventry, R.I.) picked up back-to-back singles to lead off the inning, before Loda grounded to third, but Wheeler beat the throw to load the bases with no outs. From there, Podmajersky forced three-straight outs for the Pride to keep the game scoreless.
After Loda made quick work of the Pioneers in the top of the sixth, Conley drew a walk and advanced to second on a wild pitch, putting her in scoring position for Alfieri, who rose to the occasion and drove a ball to the right center gap to give Springfield College the lead.
Loda forced three outs to third base in the final at bats for William Paterson, sealing the Pride's win.