KISSIMMEE, Fla. – The University of the Sciences softball team won its first game of the 2019 season on Wednesday, defeating Franklin Pierce 4-2.
The Devils also led 3-1 through four innings of its first game, an eventual 9-4 loss to Northern State.
USciences scored two runs in both the third and fourth inning against Franklin Pierce, and that was all Kaitlyn Gaynor needed as she limited the Ravens to just the two earned on five hits, with five strikeouts, in a complete game effort.
After a scoreless first two frames, a leadoff error got it all started for University of the Sciences in the top of the third.
Evangelina Olivera's leadoff single in the fourth led to two more runs, the first on a Gina Pustizzi single and the second on a pass ball that scored Rodriguez, who had reached on a fielder's choice before moving up to third on a stolen base and Camille Brown single.
Franklin Pierce did add another run in the fifth before threatening in the sixth, but Simms – the right fielder - hit the cutoff on a single that led to the third out being recorded on a rundown that finished with a play at the plate.
Gaynor then retired the Ravens in order in the seventh.
Lauren Davis recorded the second three-hit game of her career against Northern State, with the junior driving in two including the first run of the afternoon.
Also reaching base multiple times against the Wolves were Olivera and LaPlante.
Starter Megan Master pitched three scoreless innings before giving up an unearned run in the fourth, while Gaynor ended the game with 1.1 innings of scoreless relief.
University of the Sciences got off to a fast start, plating two in its first at-bat of the afternoon after Brown led off with a single. Lauren Ordemann sacrificed her to second and after a LaPlante double, a Davis single and a passed ball quickly put the Devils ahead 2-0.
Master stranded runners in scoring position in each of the first three innings, including the bases loaded in the second.
Northern State finally got on the board with the unearned run in the fourth, but USciences came right back to cancel that out on Olivera's two-out RBI single in the bottom-half. Caitlyn Dill played a crucial role in that run, coming on to pinch run for Nina Cencetti after her single and stealing a base.
A leadoff home run in the top of the fifth cut the deficit back to one, 3-2, and it was then USciences errors that proved to turn the game around.
Northern State would record back-to-back four-run innings, scoring five unearned runs, to break the game open.
University of the Sciences takes on St. Cloud State at 1:30 p.m. and Bridgeport at 3:45 p.m. on the penultimate day of its Spring Break trip tomorrow.