On March 26, against Waynesburg College, the Lady Barons’ softball team at Franciscan University won their fourth game of the season 2-1, before falling 15-14 to the same opponent later in the day, in extra innings.
In game one, the Lady Barons were the first to get on the board, a first-inning run off the bat of junior center fielder/short stop Lindsey Finch. Her RBI scored freshman first baseman Ashley Kondracki, giving the Lady Barons a lead they would never relinquish.
The Lady Barons added to their total in the fifth inning; this time, Finch was the one across home plate, courtesy of freshman shortstop Dennise Carrazco’s single into center field.
Senior pitcher Jordan Cunningham earned her third win on the season, after spending all seven innings on the mound and only surrendering five hits through 29 batters faced. Despite a Waynesburg home run in the seventh inning that kept the game close until its conclusion, the Lady Barons didn’t allow a runner to pass second base in the final inning, earning three outs and the victory.
After a short break, the teams again faced off, in a game heavily characterized by scoring from both sides. This time, Cunningham shared pitching duties with Kondracki and sophomore Amanda Pulice.
Seven runs were scored collectively by both teams after the conclusion of just a single inning, three by Franciscan. The Lady Barons did well to advance their lead, scoring two runs in each of the next four consecutive innings, until they held an 11-4 lead heading into the sixth inning.
Clutch hitting by Waynesburg in the next two innings erased the entirety of Franciscan’s lead. The scoreboard read 11–11 at the conclusion of the seventh inning, meaning that extra innings were in store.
In the eighth inning, after two runs by Waynesburg, Franciscan answered with two runs of their own, thanks to RBIs by freshman catcher Kayla Anderson and Kondracki. Though senior utility player Anne Pivarunas advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt by freshman second baseman Anna Fluharty, a Waynesburg double play kept the score even at 13–13.
In the bottom of the ninth, after Waynesburg went up 15–13 in the top of the inning, sophomore third baseman Anna Ames gave the Lady Barons hope with a score on a Finch sacrifice fly. However, two quick outs put the game away for Waynesburg. The Lady Barons finished with 17 hits on the afternoon.
In a statement made public by the university athletic department, head coach Jim Walker commented on his team’s style of play.
“I think these are the two most complete games we have played all year,” said Walker. “It was really frustrating letting game two get away from us but I was really proud of how the girls battled back after down by four so early,” he continued.
The Lady Barons next face conference opponent Medaille College on April 8, with games at 1:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m.