Rock salvages one game against Clarion

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After a reflection on her team’s season thus far, Slippery Rock University softball head coach Stacey Rice stated that “she felt confident about a win” against rival Clarion (7-11, 5-9 PSAC West) at the Clarion University Memorial Stadium. The Slippery Rock women’s softball team took on Clarion on April 7, and did exactly as Rice predicted, splitting its PSAC West doubleheader.

Early on in game one, The Rock (3-15, 3-15 PSAC West) fell behind the Golden Eagles with a deficit of three runs. For the remainder of the game, The Rock was down, but fought back in the seventh, putting up one run.

Senior outfielder Alexa Guglielmino got it going with a single, followed by sophomore utility player Regan Hozak being walked, and sophomore infielder Erin Gardner’s fielder’s choice to put two runners in scoring position. Sophomore outfielder Anna Villies helped Hozak home with a single to left.

The game was ended by Clarion not long after, but junior catcher Leah Vith tried to keep the game alive. Vith was able to get on base via walk, but was left on as Clarion secured the 3-1 win.

Freshman Kelsi Anderson let up six hits over four innings, only one run being earned and two unearned. She added six strikeouts before sophomore Chloe Sharman (0-2, 3.09 ERA) relieved her in the last two innings.

For Slippery Rock, Villies had a good day offensively, going 1-for-3 with an RBI single.

On the other hand, the opposition was led by Mackenzie Wolfe going 2-for-3 with two runs. Chelsea Liroff, Jessica Cartia and Nicole Collins all allowed a run a piece on the Clarion scoreboard.

Liroff (3-1, 4.10 ERA) only gave up one run on four hits, with four walks, and struck out two for the complete-game win from the mound.

Freshman pitcher Claire Zimmerman (2-6, 4.85 ERA) showed out along with Sharman in game two for a combined effort win, allowing only two runs on five hits. The Rock scored a season-high 11 runs on 13 hits to seal an 11-2 victory.

Zimmerman took over a majority of the innings, yielding two runs on four hits before Sharman came into relief for the last two-plus innings.

For Slippery Rock’s offense, freshman infielder Mackenzie Freeman led, going 2-for-3 with a double, three RBI and a run scored. Sophomore infielder Cami Fisk added two hits and two RBI. Gardner and Villies tallied two hits each, while Guglielmino added a two-RBI single. Hozak, Hutchinson and Zavarelle each added a hit.

Clarion’s own Nicole Collins went 2-for-3 with two hits to get them on the board. Hannah Norton hit her first home run of the 2021 season, as well.

Clarion alternated between four pitchers in game two, first with Megan Anderson (1-4, 6.11 ERA) who evidently took the loss. She allowed three runs, two of which were earned, on five hits over three total innings from the circle.

The Rock tallied most of its runs early, accumulating six by the fourth inning. The Golden Eagles tried fighting back with two runs in the top of the fourth off of a Norton home run.

Not even the homer was enough to stop Slippery Rock from responding with five additional runs going into the sixth inning. A two-run double from Freeman and an RBI single from Zavarelle ultimately secured the victory for The Rock.

The last time Slippery Rock scored 11 runs was last year against Newberry College. Other records were taken when The Rock scored 18 hits against Virginia State University early in the 2020 season.

Following the big win and hopefully staying on the streak from here, Slippery Rock will face Edinboro University next at the SRU Softball Complex for a doubleheader series.

Madison is a junior communication major with a concentration in converged journalism and a minor in sport management. She is an active member of WSRU-TV and is the sports editor of The Rocket. Upon graduation, Madison plans to work in the broadcasting industry and coach volleyball.

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