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Softball Holds Off Late Rally in Game Two for Doubleheader Split at Chestnut Hill

Credit: David Broytman
Credit: David Broytman

PHILADELPHIA – The University of the Sciences softball team held off a late rally in game two to salvage a Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC) doubleheader split at Chestnut Hill on Thursday. 

With the score 8-3 after a four-run top of the sixth, the Griffins scored three unearned runs as part of a four-run bottom-half to make it a one-run game. 

Kaitlyn Gaynor came on with the bases loaded and one out with the score at 8-5 and despite giving up two runs without a hit, she was able to get the final two outs to keep USciences ahead. 

She then worked around two singles in the bottom of the seventh to strand a runner on third and earn her first career save. 

Gaynor also pitched a complete game in the 2-0 game one loss, tossing five scoreless after Chestnut Hill scored twice in the first. 

USciences bounced back from that game one loss immediately, scoring two in the top of the first after Gabrielle Simms led off with a double and Madison LaPlante homered two batters later to put the Devils on top for good. 

After Chestnut Hill scored once in the third, both teams scored twice in the fifth and four times in the sixth. 

Wild pitches led to both of University of the Sciences' runs in the fifth, which began with an Evangelina Olivera single. 

Olivera also played a part in the sixth, drawing a walk after Simms had led off with a single. 

LaPlante then singled home Simms before Gina Pustizzi hit her first home run of the season, a three-run blast top put University of the Sciences on top 8-3. 

LaPlante's homer was her second of the season, highlighting a 2-for-3 performance that included three runs, three RBI and a walk. 

Simms also had two hits, and she and Olivera both scored twice. 

After starter Paige Schlechter exited following 2.1 inning in which she gave up one earned, Megan Master came on to throw the next three frames to earn her second win in as many outings.

The two first-inning runs on three hits in game one would be all Chestnut Hill needed, despite USciences loading the bases in the second and threatening again in the seventh. 

Walks by Pustizzi and Brittany Rickard, and a Nina Cencetti single, gave the Devils their chance with two outs in the second but they could not capitalize. 

Later on, an error and a Rebecca Colandrea base on balls brought the potential go-ahead run to the plate with none way in the seventh. 

Gaynor settled in after allowing the two first inning runs, holding Chestnut Hill to just three in her final five frames. She struck out two and did not walk a batter. 

University of the Sciences takes this weekend off, before hosting East Stroudsburg in its non-conference finale next Tuesday, April 23 at 2 p.m.