PHILADELPHIA – The Jefferson (Philadelphia University + Thomas Jefferson University) softball team (6-8, 1-3 CACC) earned a split with conference foe Chestnut Hill (6-8, 2-2 CACC) on Tuesday. The Griffins took game one, 13-8 in eight innings before the Rams came back to win the second contest, 1-0, in walk-off fashion.
GAME ONE – L, 13-8 (8 inn.)
Jefferson got on the board first with a run in the opening frame. Senior Naomi Stas sent a single up the middle and sophomore LilyAnn Yoakum trotted home. Chestnut Hill tied the score briefly in the third with a double before the Rams posted four runs in the bottom of the frame. Stas hit a RBI double, senior Erin Maher drove in a run with a single and junior Katelyn Stys doubled in two runs.
The Griffins pushed a run across in the fifth before taking the lead with four runs in the sixth. Jefferson tied the score at six in the bottom of the inning as sophomore Emily Bradley brought home Maher with a base hit.
Chestnut Hill scored twice in the top of the seventh but the Rams matched the Griffins in their half to send the game to extras. Maher scored on an error and senior Stephanie Pepper knocked in Stys with a base hit. However, Chestnut Hill touched up Jefferson for five runs in the eighth before retiring the Rams in order to clinch the victory. The two teams combined for 21 runs and 32 hits.
GAME TWO – W, 1-0
The teams went from an offensive slugfest to a pitcher's duel as there were just six hits in the contest. Pepper put on a show in the pitching circle, racking up 11 strikeouts with no walks while surrendering just two hits. The Griffins got their first batter aboard in the first before Pepper proceeded to retire the next 10 batters, six of them by way of the strikeout. After a single in the fourth, Pepper sat down the next 11 hitters with five punchouts.
Meanwhile, the Rams' offense struggled to solve the Chestnut Hill hurler as they did not record their first hit until the fourth inning. Jefferson had just three runners reach second base through the sixth. The Rams continued to battle, however, and Stys started the bottom of the seventh with a walk. Freshman Bridgette Schaffer pinch ran and was sacrificed over to second by senior Courtney Wensel. Bradley hit a single to right to put runners on the corners for freshman Winnai Hoyt. Hoyt sent an 0-1 pitch into the gap in right center and Schaffer came home with the winning run. It is Jefferson's third walk-off victory this season.
Jefferson Softball heads to Molloy for a non-conference doubleheader on Friday, March 22 at 3 p.m.