The Slippery Rock University softball took on Point Park University on Tuesday afternoon in a pair of non-conference matchups.
The Rock, led by pitchers senior Carly DeRose and junior Brooke Dawson, won both games with finals scores of 1-0 and 3-1, respectively.
Rock head coach Stacy Rice praised her team’s performance but acknowledged that, offensively, they did not have the afternoon she knew they were capable of having.
“We were not very disciplined at the plate and we did not have very many base runners,” Rice said. “It is hard to produce when you are not getting on base.”
The Rock’s first hit of the afternoon did not come until the fourth inning of the game when senior right fielder Nicole Siciliano singled to left field. Offensively, neither team would threaten the other for the remainder of the game.
Point Park’s best chances to take the lead came in the tops of the seventh and eighth innings. In the seventh inning, with one out and runners on first and third, the Pioneers’ Tiffany Edwards hit a line-drive that was immediately caught by Slippery Rock freshman first basemen Machala Andrews, who then stepped on first base for the double play.
In the top of the eighth inning with the bases loaded, Point Park’s Kim Corcoran flied out to Slippery Rock junior center fielder Emily Nagle, who then threw a line-drive to junior catcher Lauren Hawley, who then tagged out the runner advancing on the throw home. Slippery Rock would then proceed to score the go-ahead run in the bottom half of the inning on a bunt that was overthrown by the Pioneers’ third basemen, which scored the runner placed on second due to the international tiebreaker rule.
DeRose called those two plays “game changers.”
“Without those plays being on-point, the other team takes the lead,” DeRose said. “Good job to both of them. Machala Andrews stepped up big time as a freshman, I am glad to see her working hard.”
DeRose finished the game with eight strikeouts, four hits and three walks for her fourth win and second shutout of the season. DeRose now has an overall ERA of 3.70. She is eighth in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) in opposing batting average with .221.
DeRose said that how she kept her composure on the mound in Tuesday’s game, despite being in a 0-0 pressure-filled spot, was because of one of her many jobs as a pitcher.
“One of my jobs as a pitcher is to keep the game within one run,” DeRose explained. “If the game is 0-0, then my job as a pitcher is to give my team the opportunity to get outs so that the other does not score.”
In game two, The Rock’s offense was able to push across an early run in the bottom of the third inning when sophomore Megan Brown hit a single to left center field that scored freshman left fielder Alexa Guglielmino. Point Park would tie things up at one apiece in the top of the sixth inning when the Pioneers’ Brittany Zeigler hit a sac fly to right field that would score Courtney Blocher.
The Green and White would retaliate, however, as they put up two runs in the bottom half of the sixth inning off a double by sophomore shortstop Kailey Myers that scored Hawley. Myers would come around to score as well off a single by Siciliano to give the team a 3-1 lead.
Dawson would set the Pioneers down 1-2-3 in the top of the seventh inning on a groundout, a strikeout and another groundout.
Dawson had six strikeouts and no walks while giving up seven hits in seven innings pitched. She now boasts a 1.70 ERA, which is good for seventh in the PSAC.
Rice explained the luxury of having both DeRose and Dawson on the same team.
“It is awesome knowing that you are ‘in it’ in every game because your pitchers can keep you in there,” Rice said. “It almost feels like you could do anything. You feel almost unbeatable.”
With the wins, Slippery Rock has an overall record of 12-18 and is now 18-0 all-time against Point Park University.