CUA splits two games on opening day of conference tourney

CUA splits two games on opening day of conference tourney

BETHLEHEM, Pa. – Behind a strong offensive performance CUA downed Susquehanna 11-5 in the opener of the 2011 Landmark Conference Tournament on Friday, but the Cardinals then suffered a heartbreaking 1-0 loss to host Moravian in 12 innings in the day's second game.  CUA will now play on Saturday against the winner of Susquehanna and Scranton at 11 a.m.

In game number-one, Susquehanna scored once in the bottom of the first to take an early one-run lead on the Cardinals, but CUA countered with four runs in the top of the second to jump in front. 

Kristen Trancynger got on by virtue of a Susquehanna error to lead the inning off and two batters later she scored on a double by Tracey Scanlon.  A single by Nina Curto then drove home Scanlon and CUA was on top 2-1.

Curto eventually came home on a passed ball and Mel Galella's two-out single to left drove home Jill Zic for a 4-1 Cardinals lead.

Two runs by the Crusaders in the bottom half made it a 4-3 game, but Megan Rizzi drilled a solo home run to right in the top of the third to put CUA in front by two.

The Crusaders tied the game at five with a pair of runs in the bottom of the third but CUA responded again, this time with a single run in the fourth to go back up by one.

The Cardinals then broke the game wide open with a huge five-run sixth beginning with a single by Scanlon and double by Curto.  A Susquehanna error put Zic on and brought Scanlon home as CUA went in front 7-5.

A one-out single by Galella plated CUA's second run of the frame and Rizzi followed with an RBI single of her own.  Trancynger then drove home CUA's tenth run of the afternoon with a fielder's choice and Erin McMakin's ground out made it an 11-5 game.

McMakin started the game in the circle for CUA and gave up three runs on three hits in one inning before Kerri Apicella came in and worked the final six innings to earn the win.  She allowed only two runs on two hits and struck out six.

Sarah Hoffman took the loss for the Crusaders after allowing all 11 runs on nine hits. 

There were a total of eight errors in the contest.

In the nightcap, CUA and Moravian combined for only nine hits in 12 innings.  Stockinger had three of CUA's hits, including a lead-off double but the Cardinals were unable to push her across.  She singled in the third and moved to second on a bunt, but was stranded there.  

In the Cardinals half of the seventh, Trancynger led off with a two-bagger and was moved up to third on a bunt.  The next two batters were retired though and the game remained scoreless.  In the ninth the Cardinals put runners on first and third with two outs, but Scanlon flew out to left to end the threat.

Stockinger again led off with a double in the 11th, and was bunted down to second.  The Greyhounds then walked Rizzi, and she moved to second on a stolen base.  Moravian retired the next two batters on a pop out and fly out though and the score stayed 0-0.

Moravian finally broke the scoreless tie in the bottom of the 12th when Stephanie Falzarano scored the game-winning run.  She led the inning off with a walk, moved to second on a wild pitch and was bunted over to third.  The next two hitters were intentionally walked and that brought up Amanda Paulus, who delivered a game-winning sacrifice fly to right.

McMakin took the game two loss after she went 11.0 innings, allowed four hits and was charged with the one run.  Apicella worked two-thirds of an inning and walked a pair.

Elizabeth Python went all 12.0 innings for Moravian, struck out five and walked three.

Scranton and Susquehanna will play Saturday's first game at 9 a.m. with the loser going home.  CUA will then take on the winner of that game, and whoever emerges victorious from the day's second game will take on host Moravian in the championship round.  The Greyhounds simply need to win one game to claim the conference championship.