BY ALEX KURTZ – STAFF WRITER
The Susquehanna softball team split a doubleheader at Randolph-Macon College on March 12 as they took the first game 6-4 and dropped the second game 5-0.
In the first game, the Crusaders were anchored by a strong performance by freshman Genevieve Raley as she went 3-4 with three RBIs, two of which were her first home runs of the year. Also picking up RBIs in the win were sophomore Leigh Ann Greenwald, who went 2-4 with a double and Claire Hanratty, who also went 2-4.
Raley said: “Before the game, the team got together and had a pep talk, which really helped me going into that game. Our team is so close, and we just have fun when we play, so I was very relaxed.” The game started out slow, offensively, through the first two innings, as both teams had one hit between the two of them. In the third inning, however, the offense started clicking for the Crusaders. Raley and Greenwald hit back-to-back doubles, letting Raley bring the score to 1-0, Susquehanna.
Later in that half of the inning, two errors from Randolph-Macon would prove to be costly, as a hard-hit ball to shortstop Brandi Mulvina would cause two unearned runs as both Greenwald and Heather Pearson scored to make it 3-0, Susquehanna.
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Randolph-Macon would respond, however, in the next half-inning, as they got on the scoreboard as a result of a wild pitch scoring Sierra Ford to make it 3-1.
Susquehanna looked as if they were going to make it out of the inning with little damage after a pop-up to give Randolph-Macon two outs in the inning, but Harley Jones hit a three-run home run to give the Yellow Jackets a 4-3 lead.
After two strikeouts by the Crusaders in the top of the fourth inning, Raley responded by hitting a solo home run to make the score tied at four going into the bottom of the inning.
The offensive surge from both teams would cool down until the bottom of the fifth inning when the Yellow Jackets got on the board again from the second home run of the day by Jones, which drove in two runs to make the score 6-4 Randolph-Macon.
In the top of the sixth inning, Raley would play hero once again by matching Jones’ two run homer with one of her own to tie the score back up at six.
After a scoreless bottom of the seventh by the Yellow Jackets, Susquehanna would close out the game after a two-out single to left field by Claire Hanratty drove in Amanda Neveroski to give Susquehanna a 7-6 lead. The one-point lead held out through the next inning to give the Crusaders the win in the first half of the doubleheader.
The second game of the day started out differently than the first, as both teams were locked into a heated pitchers’ duel through the first four innings.
Freshman Alexa Gonzalez threw strong pitches through the first four innings, only allowing two hits behind a couple strike outs and strong defense by the Crusaders.
In the fifth inning, things took a turn for Susquehanna as an offensive explosion by the Yellow Jackets netted them five runs in the inning, which would prove to be all they needed, as they would finish the game with a 5-0 victory.