Softball sweeps Clarion with shutouts

Published by adviser, Author: Ben Matos - Rocket Contributor, Date: March 31, 2016
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Slippery Rock softball grabbed two shutout victories against Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) rival Clarion Wednesday due to strong pitching performances from sophomore Brooke Dawson and junior Carly DeRose.

“Any time you get a sweep at home, that’s a good day regardless of who you’re playing,” Rock head coach Stacey Rice said. “We kind of knew we should win but that doesn’t necessarily mean that it happens that way. We encourage our players not to play down to our competition and we knew that it would have to come down to our pitching staff.”

In SRUs 6-0 victory in game one, The Rock’s offense scored in the first inning on a single up the middle from senior Ashley Samluk, which scored senior Katie Kaiser. Junior Caitlin Baxter later doubled down the line in left scoring Samluk.

Later, The Rock would strike again with two runs in the third and a homer by Kaiser in the fourth inning to left centerfield.

SRU would round out its scoring in the sixth inning on a throwing error causing sophomore Amanda Brush to score.

Although the offense was potent, The Rock saw a nice performance from sophomore Brooke Dawson. Dawson was dominant striking out ten batters and allowing just one hit. With the win, Dawson improves to 4-6 on the season.

SRU won the second game 3-0, and the game’s only runs were scored in the second inning.

Sophomore Allie Fischer got The Rock on the board with a single to right centerfield advancing senior Stacey Herzog to second and scoring junior Caitlin Baxter.

Senior Megan Maloney then reached on a fielder’s choice allowing Herzog to score. Kaiser then singled to left center scoring Fischer.

Three runs would be all The Rock would need as junior Carly DeRose had a strong pitching performance in the circle.

DeRose pitched all seven innings allowing just three hits and striking out eight. DeRose grabbed her fifth win on the season improving her record to 5-4 on the year.

“I’m an offensive coach and I expect my team to hit the ball,” Rice said. “When they’re not hitting the ball, regardless of what they produced last year versus what they did last year is a concern.”

With the two victories Slippery Rock improves to 12-13 on the season. The Rock will continue PSAC-West play with a doubleheader Friday against Mercyhurst University.

The games will be hosted at The Rock due to Mercyhurst’s field conditions.

In regards to the pitching matchups, Rice indicated that her team would use the same combination of pitchers against the Lakers.

Dawson will likely go in the first game and then Rice likes to reevaluate her options before naming a starter for the second game. First pitch is scheduled for 2:30 p.m.

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