MINNEOLA, Fla. - Molly St. Germain surpassed 250 career strikeouts and the offense generated 16 runs as the Keene State College softball team split with Olivet College (Mich.) and Washington & Jefferson College (Pa.) on Sunday night at the Minneola Athletic Complex. The Owls rallied from a 3-0 deficit to beat the Comets 6-3 in the first game before dropping a wild 13-10 decision to the Presidents in the nightcap.
- Keene State: 1-1
- Olivet: 1-4
- Washington & Jefferson: 3-1
How It Happened - Olivet
Olivet put up a crooked number in the third inning, but the Owls rallied with one in the fourth, two in the fifth and three in the sixth to take their season opener. Brooke Arruda went 2-for-3 and hit her first collegiate home run to go along with two RBI, two runs scored and a walk. Molly St. Germain pitched all seven innings to get the win in the circle, but also added a 2-for-4 effort with a double at the plate. Kylie Frank went 2-for-2 in her first collegiate game, and Julie Elwell drove in a pair of runs.
Both teams threatened in the opening two innings, including a bases loaded opportunity for KSC in the bottom of the second, but it was the Comets who moved out to a 3-0 edge in the third after opening the frame with three consecutive hits, two of which plated runs. The Owls chipped away, as Mallory LeBlanc and Frank each singled before Elwell scored LeBlanc with an RBI groundout to make it 3-1 in the bottom of the fourth. With the help of small ball, KSC tied the game an inning later. St. Germain helped her own cause with a leadoff double and moved to third on Arruda's bunt single. Lauren Rousseau made it a one-run game with an RBI grounder, but Keene State wasn't done yet, as Alexis Blanchette singled to put runners on the corners. Emma Pede then tied the game 3-3 with a sacrifice bunt to third.
The biggest swings of the game came in KSC's half of the sixth. Frank started the inning off with a single to right and moved to third on a miscue before scoring the go-ahead run on another productive out by Elwell. Leading 4-3, the Owls added insurance, as St. Germain reached on an error before Arruda smoked a long ball to left that made it a three-run cushion. Olivet brought the tying run to the plate in the top of the seventh after a pair of singles, but St. Germain (1-0) struck out Gracie Boyle looking to end the game.
How It Happened - Washington & Jefferson
In a back-and-forth marathon affair, Washington & Jefferson held off KSC thanks to a seven-run fourth inning that swung a 7-4 deficit into an 11-7 lead. The Presidents struck first in the bottom of the first, but the Owls hit right back with five hits and six runs in the next half inning for a 6-1 lead. KSC loaded the bases with one down after a pair of base hits and a walk, and all three scored after a free pass and a bases-clearing triple from Frank, who went 2-for-3 with a double, triple and three RBI. Leading 4-1, the Owls tacked on two more after run-scoring base hits from Cassie Woods and Courtney Votto. Frank doubled and scored on two groundouts as KSC reassumed a 7-4 lead in the top of the fourth, but then came W&J's game-changing frame in which eight consecutive batters reached after the Owls got the first out. The Presidents banged out six hits in the inning and the Owls made a pair of errors, and in the end, it was 11-7 after four. Trailing 12-7 in the top of the sixth, KSC got back in the game with a two-out rally that featured run-scoring doubles from Arruda and Votto before Kat Iozzo's single to right plated another, making it a two-run game (12-10). The Presidents manufactured a run in their half of the inning, and then sent down KSC in order to hold on.
Olivia McGrath (0-1) started in the circle and took the loss after allowing six earned runs in 3 1/3 innings.
Around the Horn
- St. Germain currently has 252 career strikeouts, good for eighth on the KSC all-time list. She is six away from sole possession of sixth.
- It was KSC's first ever meeting with both schools.
- The Owls hit .371 with a .409 on-base percentage in the two games while scoring 16 runs. KSC averaged 3.5 runs per game last season.
- Keene State has a quick turnaround, as they will take on Webster University tomorrow, March 11, at 8:30 am before a matchup with Swarthmore College at 12:00 pm.
- Olivet takes on Newbury College and Wisconsin Lutheran College tomorrow in Florida.
- Washington & Jefferson plays Sage Colleges and Newbury on Tuesday, March 12, also in the Sunshine State.