Siena Softball opened its 2018 season with a pair of losses at the FIU Classic in Miami, Florida. Central Connecticut scored six unanswered runs to rally past the Saints 8-5 in the season opener for both teams, while Michigan State walked off with a 9-1 win in six innings in the nightcap.
Junior rightfielder Jess Vollmer and freshman Isabelle DeChiaro highlighted Siena's offensive efforts. Vollmer registered five hits out of the leadoff spot for the day, while DeChiaro reached base safely five times and scored twice in her collegiate debut.
Game One: CCSU 8, Siena 5
Siena got off to a hot start to its 2018 season offensively scoring five times over their first three at-bats, but Central Connecticut tallied the final six runs to claim the season opener. Vollmer catalyzed the Saints, going 3-4 with a triple atop the order, while adding a pair of runs scored, an RBI, and a stolen base.
The Saints scored twice in each of the first two innings, while adding another run in the third. Senior third baseman Paige Hess and junior second baseman Loryn DeFalco each delivered RBI singles in the opening frame, while Vollmer's triple chased home sophomore catcher Amanda Dodson in the second. Dodson capped the scoring with an RBI single in the third.
But CCSU -- which pounded out 13 hits -- stuck around early and pulled ahead late. The Blue Devils scored a pair of two-out runs to knot the score in the fourth, and added two more two-out tallies to claim the lead in the fifth. Meanwhile, freshman pitcher Ashley Antonazzo tossed four scoreless, one-hit innings in relief in her collegiate debut to earn the win in the circle.
Game Two: Michigan State 9, Siena 1 (6)
Lea Foerster homered and went a perfect 3-3 with two runs scored and a pair of RBI to propel Michigan State past Siena in Game Two. Ebonee Echols, McKenzie Long, and Lindsey Besson each added a pair of RBI for the Spartans, which won 34 games last season and advanced to an NISC Regional Final.
Vollmer added another multi-hit performance going 2-4 for the Saints, while Dodson singled in DeChiaro for the lone Siena run in the sixth.
Michigan State raced out to a 6-0 lead through the first two innings and never looked back. The Spartans put 20 runners on base on the strength of 10 hits and 10 walks.
Nonetheless, the Saints had several chance to mount rallies, but ultimately stranded nine runners in defeat. Kristin Zalewski went the distance in the circle scattering four hits and one run while walking four and striking out seven to earn the complete game victory for Michigan State.
Siena returns to action Saturday for its third and fourth games of the five-game season opening FIU Classic. The Saints get a rematch with Central Connecticut at 9 a.m., before facing ACC power Boston College at 11:15 a.m.