WILMINGTON, Del. – After erasing a deficit four times, the University of the Sciences softball team finally broke through in the ninth inning for an 8-6 triumph at Goldey-Beacom in game two of a Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC) doubleheader on Tuesday afternoon.
The result salvaged a split, as the Lightning had shutout the Devils 8-0 in the opener.
As mentioned, USciences erased a deficit four times in the nightcap, including scoring a run in the top of the seventh to tie the score at 6-6 and eventually force extra innings.
It turned out that insurance would not be needed despite Goldey-Beacom loading the bases with one out in the bottom of the ninth, as Gaynor would finally put an end to the threat with back-to-back strikeouts.
Pustizzi's game-winning single was her third hit of game two, which matched a career-high. She also drove in three runs and scored twice.
Miranda Rodriguez also had three hits, as well as an RBI and a run, her second-three hit performance in five games.
Gaynor's ninth inning RBI double was her second RBI base-hit of the nightcap, and she went the distance to earn the win on the mound as she capped her third straight scoreless frame with an eighth strikeout.
University of the Sciences scored a run in four straight at-bats from the fourth through the seventh, erasing a deficit in each.
Madison LaPlante's leadoff double in the seventh kept the Devils alive, as she advanced to third on a groundout by Pustizzi before scoring on Gaynor's RBI single.
Rodriguez's RBI triple tied the game at 5-5 in the top of the sixth, scoring Hannah Higgins after she had walked, but she was stranded at third with one out.
It took University of the Sciences until the fourth inning of game two to get on the board, with Nina Cencetti's RBI double tying the score at 1-1. Pustizzi came in to score the extra-base knock, after leading off with a single and stealing second.
Goldey-Beacom immediately took the lead back with one run in the bottom-half, but the Devils finally broke through to go on top for the first time all afternoon with a three-run fifth.
Rodriguez led off with an infield single, stole second, and came in on Gabrielle Simms' triple. Camille Brown then bunted her way on and stole second, and Pustizzi came through with a two-RBI single that put USciences ahead 4-2.
That advantage did now last long however as a leadoff walk and an error led to three runs, one of which was unearned, in the bottom-half to put the Lightning back on top 5-4 after five innings of play.
Paige Schlechter highlighted game one with 2.1 relief innings in which she did not give up an earned run, while striking out three and walking one.
University of the Sciences is back on the road this Saturday for a 1 p.m. CACC doubleheader at Nyack.