March 20, 2014

Spartans Open Home Campaign with a Sweep of Juniata

YORK, PA – The York College softball squad successfully opened their home schedule with a doubleheader sweep of Juniata College on Thursday afternoon at a sunny but brisk Spartan Stadium. York won game one 8-5 and completed the sweep with a 4-3 win in the nightcap.

York improves to 6-6 overall while the Eagles fall to 2-10 with the two losses.

York jumped out to an early 4-0 lead as they tallied two runs in the first inning and two runs in the second to forge the early lead. In the first, Katie Maloney (Aston, Pa./Sun Valley) singled and eventually scored on a Payton Hill (Stauton, Va./Fort Defiance) sacrifice fly for the first run. Natalie Fritz (Fayetteville, Pa./Chambersburg) later scored on a wild pitch to put York up 2-0.

In the second inning, Maloney drove in a run with a sacrifice fly and Jena Ruby (Hampstead, Md./North Carroll) blasted a solo shot deep to left for York's fourth run.

The Eagles got on the board in the top of the second as they blasted three doubles in the frame, leading to a pair of runs. York got those two runs back in the bottom of the fourth thanks to a hit batter, two passed balls, an infield hit, and three stolen bases. Both runs came after there were two outs in the inning.

Juniata played wall ball in the fifth inning as they blasted two long doubles as they plated three runs on four hits with a Spartan error in the inning, drawing to within one run at 6-5.

York got a pair of key insurance runs in the sixth thanks to RBI singles from Fritz and Carleigh Ruleman (Owings, Md./Northern).

Freshman Jennifer Taff (Germantown, Md./Clarksburg) earned the win as she went the distance, allowing five runs, four earned on 10 hits with eight strikeouts and pair of walks.

Rachel Smith suffered the loss as she allowed six runs, four earned, on four hits with three walks, two strikeouts and two hit batters. Aly Smith tossed the final two innings and allowed two unearned runs on two hits in 2.0 innings of work.

Maloney led York with two hits, two RBI and two runs scored in her three official at-bats. Ruby's home run was her first of the year while Fritz was 1-for-3 with two runs scored and an RBI.

Paige Dennison led the Eagles with three hits, an RBI and a run scored. Rachel Smith had two doubles and scored twice while Lindsey Kosicki and Katie Schroeder each had two knocks in the loss.

The Eagles outhit the Spartans 10-6 in the game.

In the nightcap, the Spartans again jumped out to a quick lead as they struck for two runs in the bottom of the first. Ruleman plated the first run with a single through the right side. Ruby then singled up the middle with two outs to score the second run of the inning.

The Eagles got a run back in the top of the third on a Rachel Smith RBI double to right center.

Juniata would tie the game in the top of the fifth on a Rachel Smith sacrifice fly to left. The Eagles took a short-lived lead in the top of the sixth when Brooke Walls had an infield single to plate a run, giving Juniata a 3-2 lead.

The Spartans staged a game-winning rally in the bottom of the sixth. Hill started the rally with a one out single to left. Ruby then singled through the left side to advance Hill to second. Senior Alyssa Molino (Montgomery, Pa./Montgomery) then roped a double to left center, scoring both Hill and Ruby to give York a 4-3 lead.

Taff hit a batter with two outs in the top of the seventh but got a strikeout to end it as the Spartans earned the two wins for the day.

Taff earned her second win of the day with seven innings of work. She allowed three runs on eight hits with four strikeouts and a walk as she now stands at 4-3.

Aly Smith suffered the loss as she allowed four runs on 11 hits with a strikeout and a walk in six innings of action. She falls to 2-4 with the loss.

Hill and Ruby led the Spartans with two hits, an RBI and a run scored each. Molino had a pair of RBI on her fifth double of the year. All nine Spartan starters had a least one hit in the victory.

Aly Smith led Juniata with two hits and two runs scored. Rachel Smith added a hit and two RBI for the Eagles.

The Spartans return to action Saturday when they travel to Buena Vista, Virginia to face Southern Virginia in a non-conference doubleheader. Game one is slated for a 12:00 pm start.

Jennifer Taff photo courtesy of Joe Rodgers