WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Gallaudet University softball team had its best day of the season on a beautiful Sunday afternoon in the nation’s capital as the Bison swept a doubleheader against visiting Rosemont College to end a 10-game losing streak. The two games mirrored themselves as Rosemont led 3-2 after the first inning and 5-2 heading into the bottom of the second inning. From there the Bison offense took over and put together several big innings to give Gallaudet two wins 15-7 and 16-8 as both games stopped in the fifth inning.
Gallaudet (3-21) set season-high game marks for total bases (21), runs (16), hits (15), RBI (11), runs in an inning (10), stolen bases (six), pitching strikeouts (six) and doubles (five).
The Bison broke open the first game with a 10-run third inning as the Raven’s defense committed half of its six errors in the game during the frame. The big hits in the inning came from freshman catcher Nicole O’Malley (Fredericksburg, Va.), who blasted a two-run double to center field, and junior outfielder Mandie Smith (Chicago, Ill.), who hit a deep single to left-center field that cleared the bases to give her three RBI. The 10-runs surrendered by Rosemont (0-10) were unearned.
GU ended the first game in the bottom of the fifth inning as the Bison plated three runs to trigger the eight-run mercy rule. The game-winning run was scored by Smith who dashed home on a wild pitch.
Freshman Alicia Johnson (San Jose, Calif.) earned the win as she pitched three and a third innings where she allowed seven runs (six earned) on six hits, and a season-best five strikeouts to go with a season-low two walks. Junior Alicia Balzer (Montgomery Village, Md.) pitched the final inning and two-thirds. She allowed no runs and gave up only two hits, one walk and struck out one Raven. Rosemont pitcher Caitlin Mazzoni (0-5) took the loss as she surrendered 15 hits and 15 runs but only three runs were earned. Mazzoni struck out one Bison, walked two, threw two wild pitches and hit one batter.
Rosemont jumped out to an early lead, just like the first game, but errors allowed the Bison to have two big innings to put the game away. GU scored six runs in the second inning and eight in the third. The Ravens had 11 errors on the day between the two games. Gallaudet had six errors in the second game but only two in the first.
Gallaudet cranked out five doubles off Rosemont pitcher Heather Daneker (0-5). Two of the doubles came off the bat of sophomore Michelin Barron (Frederick, Md.) and in the same inning. Barron plated the leadoff hitter sophomore Lindy Klinger (Atlantic City, N.J.), who doubled herself moments before, with a double to center field. The Bison batted around in the inning as they scored eight runs. Barron delivered the knockout punch with a bases loaded double to deep center field in her second at-bat in the third. She finished the day going 3-for-5 at the plate, three runs scored, two doubles and four RBI.
Balzer went the distance for Gallaudet in the circle as she allowed eight runs (three earned) on 10 hits, one walk, one hit batter and one strikeout. The Ravens tried to prolong the game in the top of the fifth as they scored three runs but needed one more run to force the Bison to bat in the bottom half. Rosemont flew out to center field to end the game with the bases loaded. Daneker took the loss as she allowed 16 runs (nine earned) on 14 hits, walked six and threw one wild pitch.
Between the two games the Bison had several offensive stars such as freshman shortstop Kara Gulvas (Crown Point, Ind.) batted a perfect 6-for-6, five runs, three RBI and a double; O’Malley went 5-for-8, five runs, three RBI and two doubles; junior first baseman Jessica Buckwalter (Palmyra, Mo.) batted 4-for-6, four runs and a RBI; Smith drove in five runs in the first game; Johnson scored four runs and junior Casey McCullough (Oceanside, Calif.) went 3-for-8, two runs and a RBI.
The Bison are next scheduled to travel to Southern Virginia University on Wednesday, April 14, for a non-conference doubleheader that begins at 2 p.m. GU is still trying to reschedule one more doubleheader before the season ends. If not, the Bison end the season with a 3-13 mark at home.