WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Catholic University softball team edged Elizabethtown in a Landmark Conference doubleheader on Saturday. The Cardinals posted a big sixth inning offensively to take a 6-1 win in game one before the sophomore duo of Forgen and Czan led the Cards to a 2-1 win in extra innings in game two.
Game 1: Catholic 6, Elizabethtown 1
In the first game of the doubleheader, junior Sabrina Scott threw a complete game, recording two strikeouts, one walk, and allowing eight hits.
Both teams had a slow start offensively, staying off the scoreboard for the first two innings.
The Cardinals got things going in the third inning. The momentum started in the top of the frame when freshman Bella Ronca and sophomore Giselle Diaz turned a double play to end the inning. From there the Cards turned their strong defensive play into a productive offensive inning.
Ronca drew the walk. Diaz then reached on a fielder's choice and Ronca advanced to second on an error by the second baseman. Both runners then took one more base on the error. With runners on second and third, sophomore Taylor Forgen recorded an RBI scoring Ronca. Sophomore Makayla Czan then reached first on a throwing error by the shortstop, scoring Diaz to put the Cards on the board 2-0.
The fourth inning was dominated by defensive play, going three up three down for both teams.
The Blue Jays scored their only run of the game off of four hits in the top of the fifth.
Catholic tacked on four more runs in the bottom of the sixth inning. Czan led off the inning with a double down the left field line. Scott reached on a fielder's choice, although the Blue Jays were unsuccessful with their attempt to second base. Sophomore Juliet Lodes put a sacrifice bunt down to advance both runners. Sophomore Allie Lajeunesse then reached on an error by the shortstop and advanced to second on the play, scoring both Scott and Czan.
Freshman Elizabeth Dew entered the game as a pinch-runner for Lajeunesse and scored the fifth run for the Cardinals off of a single from junior Kacie Badolato. Then sophomore Sophie Maccarone drew the walk and sophomore McKenzie Plante pinch ran for Badolato. Diaz gave the Cards a 6-1 advantage with a single to left center to score Plante.
The Catholic defense sealed their fifth win of the season and first Landmark Conference win in the top of the seventh.
Game 2: Catholic 2, Elizabethtown 1
Freshman Bella Ronca led the Cardinals at the plate, going two for four. Junior Claire Sturek got the start for Catholic throwing an impressive 7.1 innings with seven strikeouts and only allowing one run on five hits. Junior Sabrina Scott captured the win for Cards, entering in the eighth inning to close out the top of the frame, not allowing a hit and recording one strikeout.
Elizabethtown got on the board first with a led off double that proceeded to score on a passed ball.
The third and fourth innings were quiet as the Cardinals did not record a hit and Elizabethtown posted only one hit in each.
Catholic once again turned strong defensive play into a productive bottom frame. Junior Shannon Harrington reached on an error by the centerfielder. Ronca then singled, advancing Harrington to third and taking second on the throw. With runners in scoring position, sophomore Taylor Forgen recorded an RBI, scoring Harrington to tie the game.
With only one hit in both the sixth and seventh innings, the game went into extra innings tied at 1-1. The Blue Jays drew a walk and advanced a runner to second on a sacrifice bunt. They drew another walk, putting runners on first and second with one out. Then Scott came in to relieve Sturek, forcing a pop up to the shortstop and posting a strikeout to end the inning.
With the game on the line, Forgen came up with a clutch triple to right field. With no outs, Czan hit a sacrifice fly to center field, scoring Forgen and securing the Cardinals second conference win of the season.
Catholic returns to action tomorrow, Sunday, March 17 at 1:00 p.m. against Cabrini.