Rock lose four in a row following strong start to weekend

Published by Karl Ludwig, Author: Karl Ludwig - Assistant Sports Editor, Date: February 17, 2019
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Even in sunny South Carolina, the Slippery Rock University softball team could not escape the elements.

After splitting Friday’s slate of games against South New Hampshire University and Georgian Court University, The Rock experienced several weather delays in losses to no. 4 Saint Anselm College and Merrimack College.

While the weather was not a factor against the University of New Haven, the Green and White fell victim to a downpour of singles, doubles, and triples in route to a 14-1 rout.

Despite dropping four of five games over the weekend, The Rock was competitive in all but one of the games played.

In the contest with South New Hampshire, the Green and White capitalized on sophomore pitcher Camie Shumaker’s 4.0 innings of solid relief pitching to pick up a 5-4 victory.

Holding onto a 4-1 lead heading into the sixth inning, the Penmen scored three runs to knot the game at four.

Senior outfielder Kailey Myers’ clutch RBI single in the top of the seventh inning—driving in senior second baseman Megan Brown—supplied the game-winning run for the Green and White. The clutch victory would prove to be the only win of the weekend for The Rock.

A power outage from Rock batters against Georgian Court led to the Green and White dropping their first game of the season, 6-1, later that afternoon.

Myers broke a 5.2 inning no-hit bid from Lions’ pitcher Mikayla Gilgert with a sixth-inning single which did not amount to any runs. The Rock finally entered the score column when sophomore infielder Aubrey Allen collected her first career hit and RBI in the seventh inning.

Shumaker started on the mound against the Lions and picked up the loss. Shumaker went 1-1 on the day.

The wet weather experienced lately in Slippery Rock carried over to Myrtle Beach, S.C. on Saturday as play stopped and started multiple times throughout the day.

Senior pitcher Andria Copelli took the mound against no. 4 Saint Anselm to begin play Saturday morning. The Hawks rode a three-run sixth inning to down The Rock, 3-0, despite Copelli’s strong day on the mound.

Only sophomore outfielder Julia Cepis, junior outfielder Alexa Guglielmino and freshman designated hitter Maggie Moore were able to register hits for the Green and White. The Hawks only mustered five hits but were able to capitalize with three runs; an infield throwing error helped contribute to two of the three runs.

On a quick turnaround, The Rock was able to drive in three runs in the first two innings against Merrimack but went scoreless over the next six during the 4-3 extra innings loss.

Shumaker returned to the mound for the Green and White against the Warriors and pitched all eight innings. Despite allowing only three earned runs and racking up four strikeouts, Shumaker took her second loss of the weekend.

Another drought from Rock batters allowed Merrimack catcher Emily Kurkul’s clutch RBI single in the top of the eighth inning to become the game-winner.

Returning to the field Sunday morning, sophomore infielder Becca Roesch’s RBI double in the first inning against New Haven appeared to point toward a potentially strong finish to the weekend in South Carolina.

11 second-inning runs from the Chargers quashed those hopes. Three more fourth-inning runs for good measure led to the 14-1 final.

Copelli bore the brunt of the Chargers’ offensive surge Sunday by giving up 10 hits, 11 runs and a walk over 2.0 innings. The Rock’s offense was only able to register five hits throughout the game in support.

Despite the less than ideal results, encouraging signs can be taken from the weekend of play.

Allen’s potential emergence as an impact hitter this season appears to be in the cards following a weekend of .333 batting average, three hits—including a triple—and two RBIs. Brown stole five bases in five attempts and drove in two runs. Senior outfielder Caitlyn MacKelvey led the squad with a .429 batting average and a pair of RBIs.

Shumaker picked up two losses over the weekend but pitched well with a 2.33 ERA over 15.0 innings and a complete game under her belt. However, the New Haven game left both Copelli and freshman pitcher Chloe Sharman with ERAs over 6.00.

The Rock will be back in action this weekend in Virginia for the Virginia State University Tournament. Virginia State University, Elizabeth City State University, and Virginia Union University are on the cards for the Saturday and Sunday slate of games.

Virginia State is up first in Petersburg, Va. on Saturday. The game is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m.

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