Softball falls twice to Caldwell on Senior Day

Softball falls twice to Caldwell on Senior Day

PHILADELPHIA – The Philadelphia University softball team dropped a pair of Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC) games to 16th-ranked Caldwell University, 9-0 in five innings and 3-0, Saturday afternoon.

Prior to the doubleheader, the Rams honored their five senior players in a Senior Day ceremony: Megan Letos, Gianna Bliss, Katy Sullivan, Monica Levins, and Shannon Weaver.

Caldwell's Sydney Ponto and Philadelphia's Naomi Stas put up a pair of zeroes for the first two innings of game one.

In the bottom of the second, Philadelphia put its first two runners on base thanks to consecutive Caldwell errors and loaded the bases when Bliss was hit by a pitch with one out. The rally would abruptly come to an end as Ponto struck out the next two batters to leave the Rams scoreless.

Then, the Cougars broke through in the third inning when Lauren Frye was awarded home after one of five Stas illegal pitches. Caldwell tacked on two more runs in the fourth on back-to-back Jessie Johnston and Kiahna Silva RBI groundouts. In the fifth, Caldwell scored six more times, twice on illegal pitches, two runs on a Marissa Monasseri double, one on a Melissa Rini sacrifice fly, and one on a Carly Testa base hit.

After being no-hit for the first four innings, Philadelphia got fifth-inning singles from Letos and Katelyn Stas off of reliever Sara Bearden.

Ponto was the winning pitcher, striking out six and walking one in four innings. Stas fanned two in 4.2 innings.

Game two was a duel between the Stephanie Pepper and the Caldwell tandem of Ponto and Johnston.

Both teams would be kept off the board for the first five innings of the game despite each having a strong scoring opportunity. Caldwell had runners on second and runner with one out in the third. Pepper got out of trouble, getting Monasseri and Testa to hit infield pop-ups. In the fourth, Philadelphia started the inning with a Kayla Henry-Caltabellota walk and Levins single. Joanna Alfonsi stepped up next and ripped a line drive that Katelyn Johnson snared on her backhand side and threw to second to pick off Henry-Caltabellota.

Caldwell (38-13, 25-1 CACC) scored off of its runs in the sixth inning.  After Rini was hit by a pitch to start the inning and went to second on a sacrifice bunt, Silva hit a double into the right-center field gap to plate Rini for the first run. Silva went to third on a Katie Nichols infield single and scored on a Levins throwing error. Johnson scored the final run on a double steal.

Ponto improved to 25-4 after striking out six and allowing two hits in four innings. Johnston allowed three hits and fanned one over the final three frames to get the save. Pepper had four strikeouts in a complete-game loss.

Weaver was 2-for-2 for the Rams.

Philadelphia closes outs the regular season with a CACC doubleheader against Georgian Court on Sunday, April 30 at noon. The Rams (19-26, 11-13 CACC) can qualify for the CACC Tournament with a sweep of the Lions.