CLERMONT, Fla. - The Saginaw Valley State University softball team dropped a pair of close games at the PFX Spring Games in Clermont, Florida to the Saint Anselm Hawks. The Cardinals held a late lead in the first game and fell by a 3-2 score. The teams went to extra innings in the nightcap with the international tiebreaker in effect. SVSU got a runner on third but couldn't capitalize on the opportunity. The Hawks were able to, however, and scored a run with two outs in the bottom of the 8th to come out with a 4-3 victory.
The teams struggled to get anything going offensively in the opener, as the game was scoreless through four innings.
SVSU put a crooked number on the board first after scoring a single run in the top of the 5th inning. Shelby Weeks reached to begin the frame on a fielding error. Amanda Kimes followed and moved her up to third on a sacrifice bunt that turned into a bunt single. Marcy Medina dug-in next and laced a double to right field, scoring Weeks for the 1-0 lead.
The Cards added another run in the top of the 6th to make the score 2-0. Mackenzie Rousse opened the inning by getting on base via another Hawk error. After she stole second, Evy Lobdell singled to right center to push her across the plate.
Sant Anselm would use four hits to score three runs in the bottom of the 6th though, grabbing the narrow 3-2 edge heading into the final inning.
Hawks pitcher Paige Cormier set SVSU down in order in the top of the 7th, however, and shut the door for the one-run victory.
The Cardinals had five hits in the game, with Medina having an RBI double and Lobdell adding an RBI single.
The nightcap began much like the first game, as neither team scored in the first two innings.
Saginaw Valley grabbed the lead first once more, taking a 1-0 advantage in the top of the 3rd inning. Another Saint Anselm error allowed Kari Knight to reach base to begin the inning. She was lifted for pinch-runner Claire Coopes-Meske, who was moved to second on a Medina sacrifice bunt and advanced to third on a Madison Burgess groundout to third base. Rousse followed with an infield single, driving in Coopes-Meske for the run.
The Hawks took the lead after scoring a pair of runs in the bottom of the 4th to make the score 2-1.
The Cards bounced back right away the next half, as an RBI single by DeAnna Stickler-Gatson plated Medina, who led the inning off with a double. A Rousse single would score Stickler-Gatson after that to give SVSU the 3-2 advantage.
Saint Anselm would get another run to knot the score at 3-3 in the bottom of the 6th.
SVSU was unable to cash-in on a scoring opportunity in the top of the 7th, but the Cardinals were also able to stop a Hawks opportunity with one out and the bases loaded. SV came through with a double-play to end the threat.
Weeks was placed on second base to begin the top of the 8th inning for the international tiebreaker. She stole third base after a strikeout and the Cards were in business with just one out. Two K's would follow, however, and the Hawks would head into the bottom portion of the inning with the same opportunity and a runner on second base.
With two quick outs, it was looking good for SVSU to get the third and play some more bonus softball. Saint Anselm pinch-hit for Shannon McLaughlin, who had been 0-for-2 heading into the at-bat. Michaela Criscione was the pinch-hitter and she would place a single down the right field line to score the placed runner for the 4-3 win.
Saginaw Valley posted five hits in the second game of the doubleheader as well. Rousse had two of those hits, adding two RBIs to the effort. Stickler-Gatson had the other RBI on a single.
The Cardinals fall to 8-6 overall on the season while the Hawks improve to 5-1. SVSU returns to the diamond on Friday (Mar. 6) for games against the University of Indianapolis (3 pm) and Truman State (5 pm).