WASHINGTON – There was a sea of pink jerseys at the Gallaudet University Softball Complex on Tuesday afternoon as the Bison softball team participated in the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) "StrikeOut Cancer" Day to raise cancer awareness. The Bison, clad in pink, hosted North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) foe Wilson College, who swept the doubleheader 6-0 and 11-5.
Gallaudet (4-29, 1-15 NEAC) held a 4-3 lead in the second game before Wilson (16-7, 13-3 NEAC), currently leading the NEAC South Division standings, tied the game in the fifth inning. A costly error in the sixth extended the inning as the Phoenix scored four runs to take the lead for good.
In the first game the Bison only recorded four hits off Wilson starting pitcher Taylor Crouse (3-3). Kayla Sullenberger powered Wilson to victory with a solo home run, her fourth of the season, in the third inning and a RBI double in the fifth. GU freshman Alyssa Barlow (Chandler, Ariz.) took the loss in the circle as the lefty allowed six runs (five earned) on nine hits and struck out four.
In the second game, the two teams traded runs early and often. Wilson took an early 1-0 lead in the first before the Bison knotted the score on a RBI double by Barlow to score shortstop Chelsea Lee (South Brunswick, N.J.).
The two teams had a power surge in the second inning. Wilson's Jennifer Patton hit a solo shot and Bison junior first baseman Carmel Smolik (Charlotte N.C.) hit her first collegiate home run. Senior Mia Fernandez (Artesia, N.M.) reached on an infield hit before Smolik stepped to the plate and hit a deep home run down the left field line, as the ball hugged the foul pole, to give GU a 3-2 lead.
The game continued to go back-and-forth before Wilson scored four times in the sixth and three insurance runs in the seventh.
Senior starting pitcher Montana Murphy (Simi Valley, Calif.) took her 13th loss of the season as she allowed eight runs (four earned) on seven hits and five walks in six innings worked. Barlow entered to pitch the seventh and gave up three unearned runs on two hits and two walks.
Morgan Newell started in the circle for Wilson but it was Sullenberger (503), who took the win as she pitched four and two-thirds innings where she surrendered one run on two hits, two walks, and one strikeout.
Gallaudet will close out its regular-season schedule on Saturday when the Bison host College of St. Elizabeth for two conference games on Senior Day at noon.