Stonehill Splits Two Games In Florida

Skyhawks fall to Shippensburg, 4-1, before topping Bridgeport, 4-2

Senior Lindsay McKillop went 4-for-7 at the plate yesterday, as Stonehill lost to Shippensburg but defeated Bridgeport.
CLERMONT, Fla. (March 10, 2014) – The Stonehill College softball team split a pair of contests yesterday as part of the Dot Richardson Spring Games in non-conference action at the National Training Center. Stonehill fell to Shippensburg University, 4-1, but responded with a 4-2 win over the University of Bridgeport later in the day.
Shippensburg 4, Stonehill 1

In its first game of the day, Stonehill out-hit the Raiders 7-4, but the Skyhawks only managed to push one run across the plate. Shippensburg junior starting pitcher Liz Parkins (Harleysville, Pa./Souderton) went the first five innings, allowing one run while striking out five to earn the win. Parkins was replaced by senior Emily Estep (Chambersburg, Pa./Chambersburg) in the sixth inning, and she didn't allow a Skyhawk to reach base.

Shippensburg was led offensively by junior first baseman Maddie Justice (Bishopville, Md./Stephen Decatur), who went 2-for-3 with one RBI, and Parkins, who knocked in two runs to help her own cause. Junior outfielder Emmie Burke (Bel Air, Md./C. Milton Wright) also had a hit for the Raiders.

Senior first baseman Lindsay McKillop (East Meadow, N.Y./East Meadow) and sophomore catcher Megan Staudle (New Windsor, N.Y./Cornwall Central) did most of Stonehill's damage at the plate, as both players went 2-for-3. Sophomores Emily Padilla (Wappinger Falls, N.Y./Roy C. Ketcham) and Alison Sumski (Amherst, N.H./Souhegan) each went 1-for-3, and Sumski knocked in Stonehill's only run of the contest.

Sophomore Lauren Esposito (Middlefield, Conn./Coginchaug) started the game for the Skyhawks, and she took the loss after going five innings and allowing four runs (three earned) on four hits. Esposito also had four strikeouts and three walks. Freshman Michelle Carbone (Deer Park, N.Y./St. Anthony's) made her third straight appearance in relief, giving up no runs over two innings of work while picking up three strikeouts.

After two scoreless innings, Shippensburg got to Esposito in the top of the third for three runs. Parkins plated two runs with a double to right field, and Justice added an RBI single to give the Raiders a 3-0 advantage after three.

Stonehill answered in the fourth inning, as Staudle led off with a single and McKillop followed with another single to put two runners on base with no outs. Parkins eventually got out of the inning without much damage done, but Stonehill did get on the board with an RBI single by Padilla.

Shippensburg added another run in the sixth inning, and Estep pitched a perfect two innings of relief to seal the win for the Raiders. Shippensburg (5-1, 0-0 PSAC) will be back in action tomorrow with an 11 a.m. contest against Bridgeport.

Stonehill 4,  Bridgeport 2

Sophomore Megan Ruonavaara earned her first win of the season after pitching 6.1 innings against Bridgeport, allowing two runs with four strikeouts.

McKillop paced Stonehill's offense again in the second game of the day, as the senior went 2-for-4 with a double and one RBI. Classmate Jocelynne Morrell (West Haven, Conn./West Haven) also had two hits and one RBI, while Staudle went 1-for-2 and reached base two other times after being hit by pitches.

Sophomore Megan Ruonavaara (Rocky Hill, Conn./Rocky Hill) earned her first win of the season after giving up two runs in 6.1 innings of work. Ruonavaara allowed seven hits, struck out four and walked one. Sophomore Sarah Ropiak (Acton, Mass./Acton-Boxborough) picked up the save, as she retired the only two batters she faced in the seventh inning.

Freshman Tara Faford (Grafton, Mass./Grafton) was the only Purple Knight with a multi-hit effort, as she went 2-for-3 at the plate with a run scored. Classmate Kelsey Spaziani (Hopatcong, N.J./Hopatcong), and juniors Jessica Griesinger (Brewster, N.Y./Brewster) and Sydney Phillips (Sebastopol, Calif./Analy) added one hit each for Bridgeport.

Freshman Kaitlyn Lajoie (Vernon, Conn./Rockville) pitched the entire game for the Purple Knights, giving up four runs on seven hits while striking out five and walking one. Lajoie took the loss despite her complete game effort.

Stonehill jumped on Lajoie early in the contest, racking up three quick runs in the top of the first inning. Sumski led off the frame with a single, and Morrell followed with a triple to score the game's first run. Staudle then reached base on a hit by pitch, and stole second to put two runners in scoring position with nobody out. McKillop brought both runners home with an RBI single to stake Ruonavaara to a 3-0 lead.

Bridgeport was able to put runners on second and third with one out in the second inning, but Ruonavaara avoided trouble by retiring Faford and sophomore Paige Owens (Berlin, Conn./Berlin) to end the frame. Bridgeport would not threaten again until the seventh inning.

After Stonehill added another run in the top half of the inning to make the score 4-0, Bridgeport finally found its offensive groove in the bottom of the seventh. Faford followed Spaziani's one out single with a double to put runners on second and third. Owens then singled to cut Stonehill's lead in half, before Ropiak entered and retired the final two Purple Knights.

Stonehill (3-1, 0-0 NE-10) is off today, but will be back in action tomorrow with two more contests. The Skyhawks will take on Urbana University at 9 a.m., before facing West Virginia Wesleyan College at 11 a.m. Bridgeport (3-3, 0-0 ECC) is set to face Shippensburg tomorrow morning at 11 and West Virginia Wesleyan at 1 p.m.

For the latest on Stonehill Athletics, follow the Skyhawks via social media on Twitter and Facebook. Fans can also download the Stonehill Skyhawks mobile app on iTunes and the Android Market.