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AU softball team splits with Utica
4/10/11

HORNELL, NY -- The Alfred University softball team split an Empire 8 Conference doubleheader with visiting Utica College Sunday afternoon at Hornell High School. Alfred won the first game, 9-7, then dropped the second, 7-6.

In the opener, Utica (1-1, 2-4 Empire 8) scored two in the first and another in the second and led 3-0 going into the bottom of the fifth. That’s when Alfred (10-5, 1-3 E8) plated five runs to take a 5-3 lead after three. Senior pitcher Nicole Hedrick (Albany, NY/Catholic Central) had an RBI triple and junior third baseman Molly Shepherd (Camillus, NY/West Gensee) had a two-run single in the frame.

Utica tallied three in the top of the fourth and another run in the fifth to lead 7-5. AU tied the game with two runs in the bottom of the fifth. Junior catcher Angela Netta (Rahway, NJ/Mother Seton Regional) hit a clutch two-out triple to tie the game. Alfred scored the winning runs in the sixth. Freshman leftfielder Alexis Caruso (Coram, NY/Longwood) led off with a double and scored the winning run on an RBI single by senior pitcher Chelsey Cary (Corfu, NY/Pembroke). Cary scored an insurance run on an RBI double by senior designated player Shanna Ewoldt (Tuscon, AZ/Waubansi Valley).

Cary got the win in relief of Hedrick, who started and allowed five runs (three earned) on six hits while striking out a pair over 3 2/3 innings. Cary allowed two earned runs on four hits and struck out four in 3 1/3 innings of work. Haley Butler took the loss for the Pioneers, allowing four runs on nine hits over 3 1/3 innings in relief of starter Stephanie Romanov.

Ewoldt was two-for-three with a pair of runs and an RBI and freshman centerfielder Breeal Delgado (Rancho Cucamonga, CA/Los Osos) had two hits and scored twice. Caruso finished with a pair of hits and a run scored and Netta had three RBIs and Shepherd two. First baseman Bridgette Plummer had a homerun and a double in four at-bats, with two runs scored and two driven in to pace Utica.

In the second game, Utica jumped on AU, scoring four in the first. The Saxons answered, scoring a run in the first and three more in the second to tie the game. Cary had an RBI groundout and Ewoldt a two-out, two-run double in the second. AU took a 6-4 lead with two runs in the third. Shepherd doubled and scored on a single by Netta, who came around to score on a sacrifice fly by sophomore second baseman Maressa Mistretta (Shirley, NY/Longwood).

Utica relievers Romanov (three innings) and Butler (one inning, save) shut down Alfred after the third, allowing only three hits while holding the Saxons scoreless over the final four frames. Utica scored the winning runs in the op of the fourth on a three-run homerun by outfielder Kim Martin off Cary, who allowed seven runs (three earned) on five hits while striking out five and walking four. Hedrick relieved and tossed three innings, allowing two hits and striking out a pair.

Ewoldt was one-for-two with a run scored and two driven in and Netta (two runs, one RBI) and Shepherd (double, run scored) each went two-for-four to lead AU. Martin led Utica with her three-run homer and rightfielder Claire Gerlach had two hits and scored a run.

Alfred is in action next on Wednesday, April 13, foe a 3 p.m. con-conference doubleheader against visiting Medaille.