Softball Drops a Pair in GNAC Action
The Wildcats of Johnson and Wales University swept a Great Northeast Athletic Conference doubleheader, winning 10-0 and 4-2 on Saturday afternoon at Taylor Field. JWU improved to 8-2 in conference play and 13-9 overall while Lasell slipped to 3-7 in league play and 3-17 on the year,
Game One: The opening game of the twinbill started slowly for both teams, as Taylor Cwalinski (Jackson, NJ) of Johnson and Wales and Cassie Wadden (Brookfield, MA) of Lasell traded scoreless innings for the first three frames. Johnson and Wales then put together a big fourth inning, to break the scoreless game open. Tayla Gardner (Orangeburg, NY) led off the fourth inning drawing a walk, and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt. Cwalinkski then reached on an error that allowed Gardner to score from second giving the Wildcats a 1-0 lead. Alyssa Babineau (Princeton, MA) singled and Robyn Ziegler (Doylestown, PA) walked loading the bases and bringing Olivia England (Natick, MA) to the dish. England pushed the Wildcats lead to 2-0 with an RBI single and then a Lasell error allowed the third run of the inning to score. Wadden struck out the next hitter for the inning's second out, and it looked for a moment like the Lasers would escape the inning without further damage, but Korissa Bailey (Pelham, NH) had other plans. Bailey drilled a bases clearing double that scored three runs and gave JWU a 6-0 lead. The Wildcats pushed four more runs across in the inning taking a 10-0 lead into the bottom of the fourth and chasing Wadden from the game.
Lasell put a pair of runners on in the bottom of the fourth and the fifth but were unable to break through and fell 10-0 in five innings. Wadden took the loss for the Lasers, while Cwalinski earned the victory, allowing four hits in five innings and striking out 10.
Game Two: Alison Saluti (Braintree, MA) got the start on the mound for Lasell in the second game, and set the Wildcats down in order to open the first. A lead-off double by senior Talia DeChiara (Kingston, MA) got the Lasers off to a good start, and Mary Fontaine (Nashua, NH) knocked a two-out single that scored DeChiara and gave Lasell their first lead of the afternoon. After holding JWU scoreless in the second inning, Lasell threatened in the bottom half of the inning. The Lasers loaded the bases with two outs, but Rachelle Haas (Middleton, MA) was caught trying to score on a passed ball ending the inning.
The Wildcats tied the game in the fourth when Kelsey Dunn (Silver Spring, MD) hit a one-out double, and then Cwalinski delivered an RBI single. Lasell was held scoreless in the bottom half of the inning and the visitors used a two-out two-run double by Tayla Gardner to take a 3-1 lead.
Rachelle Haas opened the bottom of the fifth with a single for Lasell, and scored on a one-out single by Brianna Gowans (Berlin, VT). DeChiara singled and then stole second, giving Lasell runners on second and third with one out. Gardner bore down and escaped the jam without further damage inducing a ground out and fly out to quell the threat.
Tayla Gardner had an RBI double in the top of the seventh restoring the JWU to 4-2 and Lasell was unable to rally in the bottom of the seventh.
Gardner earned the win for the Wildcats, yielding eight hits and two runs while striking out seven in seven innings of work. Alison Saluti took the loss for Lasell, giving up six hits and four runs, two earned, while striking out seven.