Softball splits with Molloy in home opener

Softball splits with Molloy in home opener

PHILADELPHIA – The Philadelphia University softball team got at least one hit from eight members of its starting lineup in game two of its non-conference doubleheader against Molloy to pick up a 9-1 victory in five innings and earn a split of the twinbill on Friday. Molloy took game one 5-3.

After a scoreless first inning in game two, Philadelphia got on the board with two second-inning runs. Monica Levins (Norristown, Pa./Norristown Area) opened the scoring as she started the frame with her first career homerun. It was also Philadelphia's first homer of the year. With Courtney Wensel (Bechtelsville, Pa./Berks Catholic) on third and Gabrielle Brown (Shillington, Pa./Governor Mifflin) on first, Brown took off for second base, drawing a throw from catcher Alex Russo. Wensel broke for home and successfully beat the throw back to home to double the lead.

The Rams (5-10) recorded three two-out third-inning hits to score five times and increase the gap to 7-0. Kayla Henry-Caltabellota (Holbrook, N.Y./Sachem East) got things going as she singled to left field, bringing home a pair of runs. Henry-Caltabellota scored when Brown recorded a single in the next at-bat. Two batters later, Naomi Stas (Tuckerton, N.J./Pinelands Regional) drove in two more runs with a double to deep right-center.

After Molloy (10-6) got a run back in the top of the fourth, Stephanie Pepper (Toms River, N.J./Central Regional) put Philadelphia up by eight as she blasted a home run over the right field fence for a two-run home run. Breck Urban (Mullica Hill, N.J./Paul VI) singled in the previous at-bat to start the inning and scored on Pepper's first of the year.

Stas closed out the game in the fifth after working out of a second and third one-out jam, inducing consecutive groundouts.

Urban and Levins both had two hits for the Rams, who had 10 in the game to reach double figures for the third time this year. Chrissy Heyer recorded a RBI single for Molloy.

Stas earned the win with two innings of relief, allowing one run on three hits. Pepper fanned six over the first three innings of the game.

In the opener, Philadelphia attempted to climb out of a 4-0 hole in the sixth inning. Shannon Weaver and Stas kicked off the sixth with back-to-back singles. Levins turned those hits into runs with a triple to right field to score both runners and cut the deficit in half. Jovanna Alfonsi (Phoenixville, Pa./Phoenixville Area) brought Philadelphia within 4-3 as she delivered a pinch-hit single to plate Levins.

The rally came to an abrupt end as the next three hitters didn't get the ball out of the infield.

With the score sitting at 5-3 after Molloy got an insurance run in the top of the seventh, Philadelphia got the game-tying on first and second with just one out. However, the Rams couldn't advance them any farther.

Molloy opened the scoring with an Olivia Banulski two-out single in the second. Alex Russo made it a 2-0 game in the third as she hit a two-out RBI base hit. The Lions tacked on two more runs on an Erin Clinton single and a Kaitlyn Snyder double in consecutive at-bats during the fifth.

Led by a 3-for-3 game from Shannon Weaver (Sinking Spring, Pa./Wilson), Philadelphia outhit Molloy 9-7. Banulsku, Russo, and Snyder each had two hits.

Emily Williams (Coatesville, Pa./Downingtown West) recorded six strikeouts over 4.1 innings of work in a losing effort. Chelsea Hawks earned the complete-game winning, fanning nine.

Philadelphia welcomes Concordia (N.Y.) to campus for a Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference doubleheader on Saturday, March 25 at noon. The games were moved from Concordia due to poor field conditions and the Clippers will bat second.