WASHINGTON – A six-run fourth inning and a stellar collegiate pitching debut by Alyssa Barlow (Chandler, Ariz.) propelled Gallaudet University to its first softball win of the 2015 season on a cold and blustery Saturday at the GU Softball Complex. GU outlasted North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) foe SUNY Cobleskill, 6-3, in this early season non-conference game. The bounce back win came off the heels of a 13-8 loss to the Notre Dame of Maryland University in the first game of the day.
Gallaudet (1-1) trailed 1-0 heading to the bottom of the fourth inning before the offense came alive and SUNY Cobleskill (1-1) fielding miscues gave the hosts an opportunity for a big inning. Senior Mia Fernandez (Artesia, N.M.) doubled to left-center field to score two runs as GU took a 4-1 lead. Barlow followed with a RBI double to right-center field to plate Fernandez. Two batters later, freshman Kristi Luna (Austin, Texas) singled home Barlow to cap the six-run frame.
Barlow (1-0) struck out at least one batter in the first six innings of the game as seven of the nine Fighting Tiger batters struck out at least once against the left-hander. Barlow struck out two batters in the first, second, third and sixth innings. She allowed three runs (one earned) on seven hits, one double, one walk and 10 strikeouts.
Two Bison errors in the top of the fifth inning resulted in two runs as the Fighting Tigers cut the GU lead to three.
GU had a chance to get on the scoreboard earlier in the game when it loaded the bases with no outs but Cobleskill starting pitcher Erin Wadsworth (0-1) struck out the last three batters to get out of the jam.
In the other game between Cobleskill and Notre Dame it was the Fighting Tigers who won 6-3.
The Bison defense showed first game jitters as it made seven errors to prolong innings and scoring chances for the visiting Gators (1-1). Notre Dame scored two or more runs in five of the seven innings and led 5-0 after two innings before GU responded with five runs of its own as the Gators made two errors in the field. The two teams combined for 12 errors in the first game of the season.
Junior Kate Fetzer (Noblesville, Ind.) blasted a two-run double to right-center field and senior Elena Ciccarelli (Whitesboro, N.Y.) and junior Anna Lynch (Falls Church, Va.) had RBI singles in the five-run second for Gallaudet. The Bison added three more runs in the bottom of the sixth to force a seventh frame.
Senior starting pitcher Montana Murphy (Simi Valley, Calif.) took the loss as she was lifted in the fifth inning. She pitched over 100 pitches through the first four innings and finished with 4.2 innings pitched where she allowed 10 runs (none earned) on nine hits, three walks and four strikeouts. Barlow closed out the game as she pitched 2.1 innings and allowed three runs on five hits, walked three and struck out one.
Tawny Cevora (1-0) earned the opening day win as she threw a complete game as she allowed eight runs (none earned) on eight hits, walked three and struck out four. Wendi Winkelman and Meghan O'Connor finished with three RBI in the win.
The same three teams will square off tomorrow (Sunday, March 8) starting at 11 a.m. Cobleskill and Notre Dame will play the first game followed by Gallaudet against Cobleskill at 1 p.m. The Bison and the Gators will close out the two-day tournament at 3 p.m.