MORRISTOWN, N.J. – Kelly O’Dell and Valerie Lasko had five hits apiece while Madelyn Rodriguez drove in five runs as the Saint Elizabeth softball team swept both ends of a non-conference doubleheader against Philadelphia Biblical University Wednesday afternoon at Convent Field.
The Screaming Eagles (9-29), who have now won three straight games and five of their last seven, pounded 19 hits in the first game to win, 14-6, and then scored in its final at-bat to pull out a dramatic 4-3 victory in game two.
Under partly sunny skies in game one, the Screaming Eagles got on the scoreboard early, scoring twice in the first inning with three consecutive hits. Junior Noelle Grande led off with a bunt single and stole second. Grande scored on O’Dell’s single up the middle for a 1-0 lead. After a wild pitch, O’Dell came around to score on a base hit by Alesandria DeSapio.
Saint Elizabeth tacked on three more runs in the second in similar fashion. The leadoff hitter, Lasko, beat out an infield single and stole second base. Catcher Alexandra Sanzari singled to center to put runners on the corners and Rodriguez produced a run-scoring ground out for a 3-0 lead. After a pop-out, O’Dell lined a hot shot down the third-base line and Sanzari beat the relay from the outfield, scoring for a 4-0 lead. DeSapio followed win another RBI single, driving home O’Dell.
The Screaming Eagles pushed out to a 7-0 lead on DeSapio’s RBI double in the fourth inning.
Philadelphia Biblical rallied for four runs in the top of the fifth but Saint Elizabeth answered with two more runs in the bottom of the frame. Lasko singled and scored on Rodriguez RBI single and O’Dell drove in her third run of the game with a single to left, plating Grande for a 9-4 lead.
Saint Elizabeth struck for five runs in the bottom of the sixth, with O’Dell’s RBI double ending the game, per the NCAA eight-run rule.
Junior pitcher Catherine Eber (7-14) won her second straight start, striking out one batter in six innings of work.
O’Dell went 4-for-5 with four RBIs and three runs, Grande added three hits and scored four times while Lasko also had three hits, scored three times and drove in one run.
The Screaming Eagles were the first team on the board in the second game as well, plating three runs in the first inning. Grande led off with a base hit to left and scored on a sac bunt by DeSapio. DeSapio reached on a throwing error and scored with Patricia Yagecic on Rodriguez’s one-out single to center.
Down 3-1, the Crimson Eagles rallied to tie the game in the fourth inning, scoring twice off four walks and a base hit.
The score remained knotted at 3-3 when Philadelphia Biblical’s first batter singled off CSE freshman reliever Kelly Brown at the start of the seventh inning. The next batter hit a line drive headed up the middle, but Brown snagged the hot shot out the air and quickly fired to first base to double up the runner. The next Crimson Eagle batter singled. But with two outs, Brown again fielded a well-struck ball in the pitcher’s circle and made the throw to first to end the threat.
In the bottom of the inning, Philadelphia Biblical retired the first two CSE batters. O’Dell started a two-out rally by beating out a ground ball to third base and then swiped second base – one of five steals on the day for the shortstop. DeSapio, the next batter, hit a grounder to the Lancaster Bible shortstop whose throw to first was in the dirt and the Crimson Eagles first baseman couldn’t corral before DeSapio crossed the bag. O’Dell, running from second, continued home on the play and crossed the plate with the winning run.
Brown (1-4) pitched 3.1 innings of relief and allowed just two hits to earn her first collegiate victory.
Lasko was 2-for-3 with a stolen base while Rodriguez had the one hit with two RBI.