Opener Goes 13 Innings; Schlaefer 6-for-9 in Doubleheader

By John Painter

(West Point, NY – March 30, 2013) A pair of 3-0 lCOLGATE C-GATEeads couldn’t stand up for Colgate as Army rallied twice to sweep a doubleheader in the Patriot League softball opener for both teams.

Lucky No. 13 became unlucky for the Raiders in the first game when the Black Knights prevailed 4-3 in 13 innings. Army then claimed the nightcap by a 5-3 score.

Colgate (5-17, 0-2 Patriot) was led offensively by rookie Mariel Schlaefer, who went a combined 6-for-9 on the day with two runs scored and two batted in. Marisa Dowling and Haley Fleming added their first home runs of the season for the Raiders in the opening game.

Those long balls were exactly how Colgate built its 3-0 advantage in Game 1. Schlaefer singled to left to begin the second inning, advanced on a sacrifice bunt by Tara Vaughn, and then trotted home on Dowling’s blast to left center field. Fleming followed with her round-tripper in the third and the Raiders were in business.

But the Black Knights narrowed the margin to 3-2 in the bottom of the fifth when Kasey McCravey belted a two-run home run to left. Only one of those runs off Colgate’s Courtney O’Connell was earned because Army’s April Ortenzo had reached on an error in front of the McCravey homer.

Army tied the game in the last of the seventh inning and nearly won it in regulation. McCravey singled to left and advanced to second on a wild pitch. After Alex Reynolds singled McCravey to third, another wild pitch plated the tying run and moved Reynolds into scoring position with still nobody out.

But Brigit Ieuter came on in relief of O’Connell and retired the first batter on a groundout back to the circle, advancing Reynolds to third. Ieuter induced an infield popup and another groundout to extend the game to extra innings.

It went all the way to the bottom of the 13th before Ortenzo scored the winning run. She had reached on a fielder’s choice and then moved to second with two outs. Reynolds then plated her teammate with the game-winner on a single to center field.

Morgan Lashley pitched all 13 innings for the Black Knights, allowing nine hits and three runs while fanning eight. Colgate’s O’Connell give up 10 hits and three runs in her six innings, with Iueter taking the tough-luck loss despite allowing only the one run on three hits and scattering four walks over 6 and 2-3 innings of quality relief.

Another 3-0 Lead Gets Away

Colgate showed no signs of dejection after such a tough loss and again jumped to another quick lead. Schlaefer was in the middle of things once again as she belted a two-run homer in the top of the first that scored Natalie Siedhof, who had doubled with one out.

The Raiders made it 3-0 in the second when Eileen Ornousky doubled with one out and Alessandra Moore plated her with a two-out single.

Army closed the gap to 3-2 in the last of the second, but it could have been worse for Colgate. The first five Black Knights reached base via three hits and two walks before Raiders hurler Megan Carnase was able to retire the next three batters in order and maintain the one-run lead.

That score stood until the bottom of the sixth, when Army scored three times thanks to a pair of hits and a pair of Colgate errors. Ortenzo tied the score with her RBI-single, and then she and McCravey both came home when the Raiders committed a pair of errors on the same play that started with Reynolds’ drive into right field.

Colgate leadoff hitter Alana Dyson singled to begin the seventh inning, but she was stranded and the Raiders fell by the 5-3 score.

Carnase allowed five runs, three earned, on nine hits over her six innings pitched to take the loss for Colgate. She struck out two and walked four. Lashley again went the distance for Army, allowing three runs on eight hits with a walk and six strikeouts. The Black Knights improved to 14-11 overall and 2-0 in the Patriot League.

The same two teams meet Sunday for another doubleheader. Start time is 1 p.m.



By martha

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