AU softball team opens Empire 8 play with sweep of Nazareth
PITTSFORD, NY – The Alfred University softball team opened Empire 8 Conference play with a doubleheader sweep at Nazareth Saturday afternoon.
Alfred (6-8, 2-0 Empire 8) won the first game, 8-1, as sophomore Jessica O’Sullivan (Habersham, SC/Groton-Barnstable (MA) Regional) pitched seven strong innings and freshman leftfielder Nora Passuite (Lockport, NY/Lockport) stroked a pair of doubles. In the second contest, freshman shortstop Nicole Maher (Newark, DE/Caravel Academy) hit a pair of two-run homeruns as the Saxons claimed an 8-3 victory.
In the opener, AU plated single runs in the first, second and fourth innings to take a 3-0 lead. Nazareth (2-10, 0-2 Empire 8) scored a run in the bottom of the fourth but Alfred regained its three-run advantage with a run in the fifth, then broke the game open with four in the top of the sixth.
Passuite scored twice and drove in two runs; senior first baseman Hana Gross (Union, NJ/Union) was 1-for-3 with an RBI double; freshman third baseman Dana Torchia (Pompton Plains, NJ/Pequannock Twp.) scored twice; and senior second baseman Maressa Mistretta (Shirley, NY/Longwood) (run scored) and freshman catcher Jasmine Picini (Alexandria, VA/West Potomac) each had a hit and drove in a run.
O’Sullivan struck out nine Nazareth batters with no walks while allowing an earned run on four hits.
In the second game, Nazareth took an early lead with a pair of runs in the bottom of the first, but AU answered with two of its own in the second. Alfred plated four in the third, with two coming on Maher’s first round-tripper, to take a 6-2 lead. Nazareth scored a single run in the third before Maher’s second homer, in the sixth, closed out the scoring.
Maher finished 3-for-4 with four RBIs and three runs scored. Sophomore Alison Wickwire (Towanda, PA/Towanda) was 3-for-4 with a double and two RBIs; and Picini (RBI) and Mistretta each went 2-for-4 with two runs scored.
Wickwire earned the win for the Saxons, going 4 2/3 innings and allowing three earned runs on five hits and striking out seven. Sophomore Samantha Jo Muller (Port Jervis, NY/Port Jervis) got the save, tossing 2 1/3 innings of hitless innings and striking out two.
Alfred is in action next on Wednesday, April 3, with a 3 p.m. doubleheader at Keuka College.
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