WASHINGTON - The Gallaudet University softball team split its Sunday afternoon North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) doubleheader with Cazenovia College at the GU Softball Complex on Senior Day. The Bison cruised in the first game and won 8-0 in five innings. In the second game, Cazenovia (7-11, 1-1 NEAC) led for the majority of the game before Gallaudet (8-12, 3-3 NEAC) tied the game, 5-5, in the fifth inning. The two teams scored once in the seventh before playing two extra innings before the Wildcats hit a go-ahead three-run home run and held on to win 9-8 in nine innings.
In between the first and second games, the Gallaudet softball program took time to recognize their senior class. Four-year letterwinners Alyssa Barlow (Chandler, Ariz.), Kelsey Hudson (Blissfield, Mich.) and Genesis Rodriguez (San Antonio, Texas) were honored along with team manager Jeremy Franz.
Game 1: Gallaudet 8, Cazenovia 0 (F/5)
Gallaudet broke open an 1-0 game in the bottom of the third inning with a seven-run frame. The eight-run lead was more than enough for freshman starting pitcher Hannah Carter (Dayton, Ohio) to pick up the win as she threw 4.1 innings of scoreless softball. Carter allowed four runs, walked one and struck out three Wildcat batters.
In the seven-run third, junior Jacklyn Zacarias (Montebello, Calif.) and freshman Hailey Henshaw (Newark, Del.) came through with two-run hits. Henshaw's double went to left field as GU took a 7-0 lead.
Cazenovia starting pitcher Kelsey Morgan (0-3) took the loss as she surrendered eight runs (seven earned) on six hits, walked seven and struck out four. Third baseman Megan Krieger led the Wildcats with two hits including a double.
Game 2: Cazenovia 9, Gallaudet 8 (F/9)
The Wildcat bats came alive in the second game as the visitors clubbed three home runs on the breezy and chilly afternoon. Second baseman Alexandra Clifford (4-for-5, three runs, four RBI) led the offense as she smashed a three-run home run in the ninth to give Cazenovia a 9-6 lead.
Gallaudet responded in the bottom half of the ninth when freshman Hannah Neild (Litchfield, N.H.) singled home Hudson, who was placed on second base due to the international tiebreaker rule of the last batter out from the previous inning being placed on second base. Zacarias followed with a double to center field to plate Neild and cut the lead to one, 9-8. On the same play Zacarias tried to stretch her double into a triple but got thrown out at third base to give GU two outs. Rodriguez then grounded out to end the game.
Barlow started in the circle and went 6.1 innings where she allowed six runs (five earned) on nine hits, walked three and struck out two. Cazenovia tallied home runs off Barlow in the second and seventh inning. The latter ended Barlow's day in the circle as Zacarias swapped positions with Barlow and pitched the rest of the game. Zacarias (2-6) took the loss as she allowed three runs (two earned) on two hits, walked two and struck out two.
Cazenovia pitcher Abigail House (2-3) earned the win as she allowed eight runs (five earned) on 11 hits, walked three and struck out five.
It will be a busy Tuesday for the Gallaudet softball program as they are slated to complete the second game of its March 24 doubleheader with Trinity Washington University in the afternoon at the GU Softball Complex. The Bison are leading 14-0 heading into the bottom of the fourth inning. The two teams need to play at least one more inning to make the game official. From there Gallaudet will board a bus and drive to Takoma Park, Md., to face Washington Adventist University in a non-conference doubleheader under the lights starting at 5 p.m.