St. John's Sweeps Siena Softball
March 28, 2004
JAMAICA, N.Y. In game one, senior Courtney Fitzgerald (Bellerose, N.Y.) tied a career-high with 11 strikeouts as she went the distance in the Red Storm's 3-1 victory. Fitzgerald, who tied her career-high set vs. Canisius on February 24, 2001, allowed only one run on three hits and two walks. In the second game, freshmen Brittany Crouch (Irvine, Calif.) and Kimberly Lerch (Glen Head, N.Y.) combined for a shutout as the Red Storm downed Siena, 7-0. Offensively, sophomore Jo Sherlock (San Diego, Calif.) went 3-for-4, with a home run, two RBI and two runs scored.
After having only two base runners on two walks over the first two innings, the Red Storm finally got on the board with three runs in the bottom of the third to take a 3-0 lead. Sophomore Blair Belloni (Newport, Ore.) led off the inning by reaching on an error by the shortstop. With one out, freshman Tami Hill (San Diego, Calif.) lined a double into the right centerfield gap, advancing Belloni to third. Sherlock followed with a RBI single through the left side, scoring Belloni from third and moving Hill up to third. With junior Allina Sainz (San Diego, Calif.) at the plate, the Red Storm attempted a double steal, with Hill stealing home and Sherlock moving up to third as the ball got past the second baseman. Sainz followed by successfully laying down a suicide squeeze to plate Sherlock for the inning's final run. On the play, Sainz would move up to third as the catcher threw the ball over the head of the second baseman covering second. However, the Red Storm would strand Sainz there with one out, to take a 3-0 lead after three innings.
The Saints broke through for a run in the top of the fifth inning to cut the Red Storm lead to 3-1. After loading the bases with one out, Fitzgerald got a force out a home, before walking Sarah Rose forcing in Chani Grant from third. However, Fitzgerald struck out Marlo Daniels swinging to end the Siena scoring opportunity.
Fitzgerald and Siena starter Tara Campbell shut down the batters over the last two innings, as St. John's took game one of the doubleheader, 3-1.
In game two, St. John's jumped out to an early 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning on a two-run home run by Sherlock. Hill reached first on an error by the shortstop with one out and would come around to score as Sherlock lined the ball over the left centerfield fence for her fifth home run of the season.
The Red Storm added another run in the bottom of the second to widen the lead to 3-0. With two outs, Belloni earned a walk to keep the inning alive. Belloni would come around to score from first as sophomore Megan Oliver (Endicott, N.Y.) lined an RBI double down the left field line.
St. John's extended their lead to 5-0 in the bottom of the third inning as they plated two runs. Sainz lined a one-out double into the right centerfield gap and would come around to score as junior Jillian Sandoval (Orange, Calif.) lined a two-out RBI single into center. Freshman Loren Anguiano (Mesa, Ariz.), seeing her first action in the last seven games, followed with an RBI double into right centerfield, scoring Sandoval from first. However, on the play, Anguiano was thrown out at third to end the inning, trying to move up a base.
Siena had their best scoring opportunity in the top of the fifth inning as they loaded the bases with only one out. Crouch, however, got Sarah Rose to bounce back to her at the mound to start the 1-2-3 double play to end the inning.
The Red Storm offense got going again in the bottom of the five as they scored another run to extend the lead to 6-0. Sherlock began the inning with a double over the centerfielder's head and scored as Sainz followed with a double of her own into right centerfield. Sainz would move up to third with one out, but she was left there as they took a 6-0 lead after fifth innings.
Lerch replaced Crouch to begin the sixth inning. Crouch went five shutout innings, allowing six hits and no walks, while striking out two. Lerch went the final two innings, allowing only one base runner on a sixth inning single.
In the bottom of the sixth, St. John's added their final run to widen the lead to 7-0. Belloni reached on an error by the third baseman with one out and stole second to get into scoring position. Oliver followed with a single to right centerfield, but Belloni was thrown out at the plate trying to score from second. On the play, Oliver moved up to second and advanced to third on a pass ball during Hill's at bat. Hill hit a weak fly to right, but the right fielder dropped the ball to allow Oliver to score the final run.
Sherlock, enjoying the return home to Red Storm Field, had another impressive day, batting .667 (4-for-6) over the doubleheader, including her fifth home run, while adding three RBI and three runs scored. For the weekend, Sherlock hit .692 (9-for-13) with two home runs, six RBI and six runs scored.