Softball News & Highlights
March 22, 2013
Eagles Fall to Valiants in Home Opener
Eastern starter Janelle Fair allowed only three hits after the first inning in game one, but the visiting Valiants made their hits in the opening inning count as Katie Pitcher drove in two with a home run to center. Jessica Van Galen then laced a single and moved to second on an error. Van Galen entered action today hitting.750 for the year. She later scored on a double from Laura Montalto.
After the first, Fair found her rhythm and worked her way through the Valiant lineup with great efficiency. The damage, however, had already been done, and the Eastern offense was unable to string together multiple hits against Manhattanville starter Kristen Rodopolous. Rodopolous allowed only three hits and struck out six Eastern hitters to earn the shutout. Katelyn Donald had two of the three Eastern hits int he opener.
The Eagles struck first with two in the bottom of the first. Donald did the damage with a two-out RBI single through the hole to drive in Jessi Baker and Emily Houck. Baker reached base three times in game two.
Fair gave up hits in each of the first two innings, but the senior stayed out of trouble until the third. After two runners reached, Pitcher hit a hard line drive to short that Houck caught at the top of her leap. It appeared that Fair had escaped damage when Van Galen hit a towering pop up to short left field. That was not to be as the ball was misplayed and both base-runners scored.
The Eagles struck for two more unearned runs in the fifth. With the bases loaded, Erica Chopas hit a ground ball to second base. The initial catch was bobbled, and in an attempt to make up for lost time, the throw wne t past first to give the Eagles a two-run edge. That lead, however was short-lived. Van Galen led off the sixth with the first of three doubles. Van Galen finished the day 4-for-8 with eight total bases. Fair made good pitches to strike out the last two batters of the inning with a runner on third base.,
The Eagles put runners on early in the sixth and seventh against Rodopolous, but no Eastern hitter was able to find a key hit with a runner in scoring position. Rodopolous did not allow a run in five innings of work to pick up the win in relief.
The Valiants got a one-out double in the ninth inning. The runner advanced to third on a ground ball to first base. Kitchen then drove a 1-1 pitch over the fence in left-center for her second home run of the day. Two pitches later Van Galen launched her second of the year into the woods. The Valiants (5-7, 2-0 Freedom) hit three home runs against Fair in the one regular-season meeting where Fair pitched last year.
The Eagles have only a few hours to recover as they travel to Madison, N.J. to take on FDU-Florham in a critical Freedom Conference doubleheader tomorrow.
Updated: Saturday, 23 March 2013