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Gallaudet softball plays first games on new field against Catholic

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Gallaudet University softball team took to their new field on Sunday afternoon as the Bison welcomed cross-town rival Catholic University of America for the home opener. Things didn't go as planned for the Bison as they were swept by the Cardinals 17-1, 15-1 in two five-inning games before a crowd of 75.

The two teams had to wait an hour for the umpires to show up as the first game didn't start until 2 p.m. For the Bison they have been waiting all winter to play on its new field so an extra hour did not make a difference.

Catholic (9-5) scored four runs in the first inning and subsequently scored at least one run in all five innings, highlighted by a seven-run fourth inning to break open a 9-1 game. Cardinal pitcher Erin McMakin (5-1) earned the win as she allowed one run on four hits and struck out six Bison. GU starting pitcher Rachel Sweigart (Big Rock, Ill.) took the loss as she allowed 16 runs (seven earned) as she surrendered 13 hits to the Cardinals, walked two and hit one batter in 3.1 innings of work. Gallaudet committed six errors in the field in the loss.

Catholic first baseman Nina Curto recorded the first hit on the new field, a two-run double in the first inning, and added another double in the fourth. She finished with three hits and three RBI and a run scored.

Gallaudet's first hit at its new field came from junior center fielder Alicia Johnson (San Jose, Calif.) with a hit up the middle in the bottom of the first. GU's first run came in the third inning when Johnson singled home junior catcher Nicole O'Malley (Fredericksburg, Va.). A positive was GU's ability to collect five hits which is more than they had in the previous three games combined.

In the second game, it was more of the same as the Cardinals scored a run in every inning en route to a 15-1 win. Third baseman Taylor Stockinger finished a triple shy of the cycle as she finished 3-for-5 from the plate, scored two runs, collected four RBI and hit the first home run in the history of the new field. Stockinger blasted a solo home run to left field in the top of the fifth inning.

GU freshman pitcher Montana Murphy (Simi Valley, Calif.) took the loss as she pitched four innings, allowed 11 runs (seven earned) on 14 hits, struck out two and threw four wild pitches. The Bison still had issues in the field as they made three errors.

Gallaudet got on the scoreboard in the fourth inning when Sweigart led-off with a single, the first hit for the Bison in the game, and later scored on a single up the middle by freshman Mia Fernandez (Artesia, N.M.).

CUA starting pitcher Kerri Apicella (3-4) earned the win in the second game as she struck out four battes, walked one in three innings of hitless work.

The Bison will try and pick-up their first win of the season on Tuesday, March 20, against Wesley College at 3 p.m.

Firsts at the New Field on March 18, 2012

First Pitch
Rachel Sweigart (Gallaudet) threw a ball to Taylor Stockinger (Catholic) at 2:05 p.m. in the first game

Opponent: Nina Curto (Catholic), a double in the top of the 1st inning of the first game
Gallaudet: Alicia Johnson, bottom of 1st inning of first game

Opponent: Taylor Stockinger (Catholic), top of the 1st inning of the first game
Gallaudet: Nicole O'Malley, bottom of the 3rd inning of first game

Extra-Base Hit
Opponent: Nina Curto (Catholic), a double in the top of the 1st inning of the first game
Gallaudet: None

Home Run
Opponent: Taylor Stockinger (Catholic), top of 5th inning of the second game (solo shot)
Gallaudet: None

Pitching Win
Erin McMakin (Catholic), first game winner

Team Win
Catholic swept the doubleheader with Gallaudet 17-1, 15-1 in five innings