Softball Sweeps Rival Fords in Thrillers
HAVERFORD, Pa. – Behind strong pitching from sophomores Sarina Lowe and Melissa O'Connor and timely hitting from the Swarthmore offense, the Garnet softball team swept away the Haverford Fords in a pair of barn-burners on Saturday. The victories were Swarthmore's first two in Centennial Conference play in 2012 as the team improved to 18-18 on the season. Swarthmore won Game 1 5-4 in nine innings after the Fords rallied to tie in the seventh and Game 2 7-4.
The Fords jumped on O'Connor in the bottom of the first inning to take a quick 2-0 lead. Elizabeth Newman drew a leadoff walk and with one out, Jen DiCandilo hit a rope through the wind over the left field fence for the early advantage.
But the Garnet battled back to score a pair of their own in the third. Freshman Laurie Sellers singled to left and advanced to second on a wild pitch. Junior Kate Smayda followed with an infield single to shortstop and with one out, sophomore Nicole Aaron singled home the first Garnet run with Smayda advancing to third. A ground-out to short by junior Danielle Seltzer scored Smayda with the centerfielder sliding hard into home to break up a really from first to the plate.
Haverford regained the lead in their half of the third with a pair of one-out doubles to score a run, but Swarthmore put up another two-spot in the top of the fourth with a two-out rally. A fielding error by the pitcher allowed junior Samantha Bennett to reach and Sellers followed with an infield single. The next batter Smayda reached on an error allowing Bennett to score the tying run and when Smayda broke for second on the first pitch to Jesslyn Lammerts, the throw from the catcher sailed into center allowing Sellers to score from third as the Garnet took its first lead in Game 2.
Swarthmore took advantage by extending the lead in the sixth. Freshman Emma Madarasz walked to lead off the frame and Bennett forced another error with her speed on a swinging bunt down the third-base line. Sellers plated Madarasz with a single up the middle to give the Garnet a 5-3 lead with Smayda coming to the plate. The junior hit a humpback fly over the pitchers mound which was caught on a dive by the Haverford second baseman. But with the fielder on the ground, an alert Bennett broke from home and scored before the relay for a critical run. With two outs, Aaron singled through the left side to drive in the third run of the inning and give the Garnet a 7-3 lead.
Up 7-4 in the bottom of the 7th, Lowe closed out the game with the only blemish a one out error.
Swarthmore returns to the field on Thursday with a non-conference double-header at Eastern.