Rock softball splits four game series against Virginia State

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The Slippery Rock University softball team split a four-game series on the road in Petersburg, Virginia against Virginia State University, playing two games each on Saturday and Sunday.

Returning to action for the first time in two weeks, The Rock played a double header against VSU on Saturday and Sunday. In Saturday’s opening game, The Rock fought for 12 innings to capture their first win of the season.

Down 4-2 in the top of the sixth inning, sophomore Sara Mikulec hit a single to register her first and second RBI of the season to force extra innings.

The Rock and the Trojans battled back and fourth for the next six innings, scoring two runs each in the eighth inning and one each in the tenth to put the score to 7-7. Following a scorelessx 11th inning, Rock softball’s lone senior Alexa Guglielmino gave the lead back to SRU after an RBI single, followed by an RBI ground-out and another RBI single, this time courtesy of junior Becca Roesch.

VSU scored a run in the bottom of the 12th to chip into The Rock’s three run lead, but junior pitcher Casie Shumaker stood tall and went on to preserve the victory for SRU.

The two teams weren’t finished for the day, however, and this time, the edge went to Virgnia State.

Mikulec got The Rock on the board first with an RBI single in the top of the first inning, but were outmatched for the next five innings as the Trojans scored seven unanswered runs to take a 7-1 lead heading into the final frame.

Sophomore Maggie Moore reignited Slippery Rock’s offense in a last second attempt to erase the six run deficit, followed by a two-run base hit from Roesch to cut VSU’s lead down to 7-4.

Scoring three quick runs and only needing another three to force extra innings once again, VSU starter Leah Harrison stood tall against the Green and White attack and secured the final out of the game to end Saturday’s action and pick up her team’s first win of the season.

While Sunday is a day of rest and relaxation for most people, Slippery Rock and Virginia State both took to the VSU Softball Complex for another doubleheader to wrap up the weekend.

A defensive game for the majority of the contest, Slippery Rock trailed 2-1 at the top of the fifth inning. Sophomore Aubrey Allen led off the inning by giving some life to an otherwise quiet SRU offense, as she hit a single before advancing to second on a sacrifice bunt by Guglielmino, putting a the tying run scoring position.

Once again, The Green and White battled to the game late and eventually go into extra innings. Facing two outs, Roesch was able to single and send Allen home to the tie game at 2-2. With neither teams giving up an inch for the other after, the game would stayed tied through the seventh inning.

In the top of the eighth, the flood gates burst open for Slippery Rock, as they capitalized on multiple VSU errors to score four runs and open up a 6-2 lead. In the bottom of the frame, Virginia State cut Slippery Rock’s lead down to three after an RBI groundout, but Shumaker (2-1, 1.88 ERA) once again performed when it mattered most and forced another groundout to end the game and preserve a 6-3 SRU win.

The win marked Shumaker’s second complete game and as many wins, striking out six batters while allowing four hits and walks.

In the second installment of the Sunday double header, it was the Trojans who once again jumped out to a commanding lead early and secured the victory down the stretch. VSU would tally four runs in the second inning to extend their lead to 5-0 and eventually a 6-1 victory to split the series with Slippery Rock.

In what was her first collegiate start, freshman Claire Zimmerman allowed 11 hits over five innings and six runs, only four of which were earned. She struck out three batters and walked another before giving way to freshman Chloe Sherman in the sixth.

Slippery Rock’s lone run came in the fourth when freshman Regan Hozak scored on a sacrifice fly from Roesch to make the score 5-1. VSU tallied another run in the bottom of the fifth, stranded to SRU runners on base in the sixth inning before retiring The Rock in order in the seventh to clinch a 6-1 win.

Slippery Rock will return to action when they play a total of 12 games at The Spring Games from this Saturday through March 13th. The Green and White begin their road trip by taking on the University of Findlay in Winter Haven, FL on Saturday. First pitch is currently scheduled for 11:30 a.m.

Zack is a senior digital media production major and entering his first year on The Rocket staff, serving as assistant sports editor. Since a young age, Zack knew that his career would involve athletics in one way or another. After graduation, he hopes to work in the industry of sports broadcasting.

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