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AU softball team sweeps Union
4/07/11

SCHENECTADY, NY -- The Alfred University softball team swept host Union College in a doubleheader Thursday afternoon. The Saxons won the first game, 4-3, erasing a one-run deficit with a sixth inning homerun, then won the nightcap, 1-0, as senior pitcher Chelsey Cary (Corfu, NY/Pembroke) tossed a five-hit shutout.

In the opener, junior leftfielder Angela Netta (Rahway, NJ/Mother Seton Regional) hit a two-run homerun to left-center with two outs in the top of the sixth to lift AU (9-2) past Union. Netta’s blast came immediately after Alfred sophomore catcher Hana Gross (Union, NJ/Union) was thrown out at home trying to score the tying run from second on a single by freshman centerfielder Breeal Delgado (Ranco Cucamonga, CA/Los Osos).

AU took an early lead by scoring two unearned runs in the top of the first off Union starter Alyssa Wolejko. AU starting pitcher, junior Nicole Hedrick (Albany, NY/Catholic Central), reached on an error and advanced to second on a bunt single by freshman Stephanie Arguello (Placentia, CA/El Dorado). Both runners advanced on a passed ball before Gross plated both with a double to right.

Hedrick held Union in check until the fifth, when the hosts tallied three runs to take the lead. Centerfielder Becky Gronczniak led off with a double, moved to third on a fielder’s choice and scored on a one-out single by rightfielder Carson Mehl. After two Union runners were thrown out at home on consecutive fielder’s choices, the Dutchwomen plated a pair of two-out runs, with shortstop Lauren Hoffman scoring on a fielder’s choice and second baseman Callee Heywood scoring the go-ahead run on a bases loaded walk.

After AU took the lead on Netta’s round-tripper, Hedrick set Union down 1-2-3 in bottom of the sixth. The Dutchwomen had runners on first and second with two outs in the bottom of the seventh before Hedrick induced a game-ending pop-up to first. Hedrick allowed three runs on seven hits while striking out three and walking two. Wolejko allowed four runs (two unearned) on four hits, walking four and fanning a pair. Gross and Netta each had a hit and drove in a run for Alfred, while Heywood was 2-for-3 with a run scored for Union (5-15).

In the second game, AU broke a scoreless tie when junior third baseman Molly Shepherd (Camillus, NY/West Genesee) hit a two-out single in the fifth to score freshman pinch runner Melissa Montano (West Covina, CA/Walnut) from second and give AU a 1-0 lead. Montano was running for senior Shanna Ewoldt (Tuscon, AZ/Waubansie), who had led off the inning with a pinch-hit double.

Cary made the lead stand up, retiring Union in order in the fifth and seventh innings and stranding a pair of baserunners in the sixth. For the game, Cary struck out nine and walked four. Union hurler Jena Servidone was the hard-luck loser, scattering seven hits while striking out five and walking one.

AU plays next on Saturday, April 9, when the Saxons entertain Empire 8 Conference rival Ithaca in a 1 p.m. doubleheader at Hornell High School.