Clermont, Fla. - The Catholic University softball team fell to No. 2 Illinois Wesleyan (1-0), and Nebraska Wesleyan (4-3) at the Spring Games on Tuesday. Freshman Bella Ronca led the Cards going five for five on the day with two doubles.
Game 1: Illinois Wesleyan 3, Catholic 1
The first game of the doubleheader proved to be a pitchers battle, as only three hits were allowed until the fifth inning.
Freshman Bella Ronca tallied two hits, a single and a double and freshman Marissa Bruder added one hit and an RBI to lead the team. While in the circle, junior Sabrina Scott got the start and threw a complete game, allowing eight hits, walking one, and striking out three.
The first inning was scoreless for both teams. The Titans struck first in the top of the second on a base hit up the middle to take a 1-0 lead.
Heading into the third, the Cardinals went to business forcing back to back three up, three down innings. Scott handled four of the six outs with two strikeouts, an assist, and a putout. The Cards defense continued the impressive play with huge fifth inning, getting out of bases loaded with one out to keep Catholic within one.
While the Cardinals struggled to get the offense going, Illinois Wesleyan tacked on two more in the top of the sixth to make it 3-0.
Catholic did not back down. Ronca started things with a double to deep right field. Bruder then singled to right field, scoring Ronca to get the Cards on the board.
Scott and her defense posted their third 1,2,3 inning of the game in the seventh to keep the Cardinals in the game. Heading into the bottom frame, sophomore Juliet Lodes led things off with a base hit bunt but was stranded as the Titans held on for their first win of the season.
Game 2: Nebraska Wesleyan 5, Catholic 2
Freshman Bella Ronca went an impressive three for three with a double to lead the Cardinals at the plate.
Catholic jumped on the Prairie Wolves from the start, scoring two runs in the top of the first. Sophomore Taylor Forgen got things started with a double to right, then advancing the third on a throwing error by the catcher. Sophomore Makayla Czan drew the walk, before sophomore Juliet Lodes grounded out to the first baseman, scoring Forgen. Junior Sabrina Scott then came to the plate and singled to right field to score Czan.
Nebraska Wesleyan responded posting five unanswered runs in the next three innings to take a 5-2 lead going into the bottom of the third.
The Prairie Wolves pitcher and defense went to work only allowing three more hits for the Cardinals. Ronca singled to right center in the fifth, followed by a single to right from Lodes in the sixth, and one more double to right field for Ronca in the bottom of the seventh.
Catholic takes the field again on Wednesday, March 13, against Washington & Jefferson and Husson starting at 3:45 p.m.