CUA drops first two games of spring break trip in Fla.

KISSIMMEE, Fla. – CUA dropped its first two games of the Rebel Spring Games on Monday, falling to Bluffton 7-5 in the opener and 9-7 to Bridgewater in 8 innings in the nightcap.  Despite the setback, freshman Amy Laughner had quite the debut, going a combined 6 for 7 in the two games (.857).

Bluffton struck first in the opener, scoring three times in the bottom of the second.  CUA actually retired the first two batters of the frame, before the Beavers struck for three runs.

CUA came right back with three runs of its own in the top of the third to tie things up at three.

Sam Daubman got the rally started with a single down the right field line.  Laughner then reached on a fielder’s choice and Daubman was safe at second thanks to a Bluffton error.

Two batters later, Mel Galella delivered an RBI double, and Megan Rizzi followed with a double of her own, which plated Laughner and Galella and tied the score at three.

The score remained that way until the fifth, when the Cardinals pushed two runs across to take the lead.  Laughner led the frame off with a single to right and Taylor Stockinger followed with a double to right center.

Galella then drove in Laughner with a groundout, and with two outs, Nina Curto stroked a single to right that plated Stockinger for a 5-3 CUA lead.

The Beavers came right back and tied things at five though, when Catie Clark delivered a two-run homer to center in the bottom of the fifth.

Bluffton took a 7-5 lead in the sixth with a pair of runs, and CUA was down to its final at bat.  Laughner and Stockinger led the seventh off with back-to-back singles, and after Rizzi walked with just one out, the Cardinals had the bases loaded.

The Beavers were able to retire the next two Cardinals though, sending CUA to a season-opening setback.

Kerri Apicella suffered the loss for CUA in the circle, after allowing eight hits and seven runs, while striking out five.  Kayla Owens earned the win for Bluffton, after she went 3.0 innings and did not surrender any runs.

In game two, Bridgewater jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first when Melanie Lamb drove in two runs with a single.

CUA got on the board for the first time in the second inning when Curto led off with a walk and Tracey Scanlon bunted her down to second.  Rose Shaver then laced a RBI single to center, which cut the Eagles lead to 2-1.

A three-run third then sent CUA into the lead.  Laughner got it going with a single, and Stockinger reached on an error.  Galella was next and she drove in Laughner with a hit, and Stockinger scored on the same play following a Bridgewater error.

Rizzi was next and she plated Galella with a sacrifice fly.

Bridgewater got two of the runs back in the fifth, but CUA answered right back with two runs of its own in the bottom half.

Scanlon started things off with a walk and Shaver bunted her down to second.  After a Cardinals strikeout, Daubman got on by way of an infield single, moving Scanlon up to third base.  Laughner then doubled in two more runs, and CUA was in front 6-4.

The Eagles scored twice in their next at bat, which tied the score at six, and after neither team could push across the winning run in their final at-bats, the game headed for extra innings.

Bridgewater scored three times in the top of the eighth, with Lamb’s infield single plating two Eagles.

CUA got one of the runs back in the bottom half when Rizzi scored on a fielder’s choice, but that was as close as the Cardinals would get.

Heather Jenkins earned the win for Bridgewater, after she pitched 2.0 innings and allowed just one run on two hits.

Erin McMakin went all eight innings for CUA, and surrendered seven earned runs on 12 hits, while striking out 10 during that time.

Laughner finished with a 4-for-4 showing at the dish in game two, and she drove home two runs, while Shaver also drove in two.

On Tuesday, CUA will play two more games in Florida, beginning at 9 a.m. vs. Hiram.  At 11, the Cardinals will take on Husson.

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