Softball ties season-high runs in sweep of IUP

Published by adviser, Author: Brian Hepfinger - Sports Editor , Date: April 2, 2015
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The Slippery Rock University softball team (7-11 overall, 4-4 Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference) outscored Indiana University of Pennsylvania (4-12 overall, 2-4 PSAC) Sunday 22-14 in a sweep.

The Rock won the first game 9-8 and the second game 13-6.

The first game was much closer than the second, with sophomore pitcher Carly DeRose getting the start. DeRose pitched a complete game while allowing 11 hits, eight runs and striking out five IUP batters. DeRose earned her third win of the season, and has a record of 3-0 thus far.

“She performed great in the freezing cold, so she had to fight the elements,” SRU head coach Stacey Rice said. “Her hand was very cold, but she definitely rose above challenges you can’t control.”

SRU’s offense was in full-form for both games, and was led by multiple players.

“I’m an offensive coach; we’re gonna swing the bat and put the ball in play,” Rice said. “We don’t average a lot of strikeouts. We have a team of starters and non-starters that walk up and crush the ball.”

Junior shortstop Katie Kaiser went 3-6 with one RBI and one run. Junior left fielder Megan Maloney went 2-4 with one RBI and two runs, while freshman catcher Lauren Hawley went 3-5 with one RBI and one run. Senior right fielder Alaynna Beers (2-6) and sophomore center fielder Eliza Sykes (2-4) both had two hits, with Beers hitting two RBIs and Sykes scoring two runs.

After a solid nine-inning performance from the entire Rock team, SRU didn’t let up in the second game. The Green and White’s trend this year has been to win the first game and lose the second game. Rice said that’s been the team’s biggest issue.

“The second game for every game we played, we kind of started off weak and were always behind in those games,” Rice said. “We never really dominated in game two. That was something me and coach Carter reflected on after the UPJ game and knew we had to take a different approach on resting and what the mind-set is in between games.”

The second game featured another complete game for a Rock pitcher. This time, it was freshman Brooke Dawson. Dawson pitched seven innings while allowing seven hits, six runs and striking out seven IUP batters. This was Dawson’s third win of the season (3-4).

“She has been working very hard, and she’s been doing a lot on her days off and I’m very proud of how she pitched,” Rice said. “Letting her have confidence in herself and her pitches is part of being a freshman starter.”

Collectively, the Rock’s offense played a great game two. Eight batters had at least one hit, and five had multiple hits. Junior designated hitter Stacey Herzog and senior second baseman Taylor Welch contributed the most, with Herzog scoring three runs and hitting two RBIs and Welch hitting four RBIs and scoring one run. Both players went 2-4.

“What made me most proud was how they responded and the changes that they made in the second game,” Rice said.

The Green and White’s next game is against Clarion University (2-12 overall, 1-7 PSAC) at home at 1 p.m. on Saturday.

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