Softball Dropped Twice by Princeton

Softball Dropped Twice by Princeton

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Sophomore Molly Ann Mecca (Jessup, Pa.) doubled and homered in the nightcap to lead a pack of five Bears with three hits on the day, but the Brown softball team (2-20, 0-6 Ivy) fell to Princeton 7-6 in eight innings in the opener and 8-3 in game two in an Ivy League double header on Sunday.

Mecca finished the day 3-for-7 with two runs and an RBI, while senior Kelsey Williams (Greenwood, Ind.) went a combined 3-for-6 on the strength of a game one 2-for-3 performance with three RBI and the game-tying double in the seventh to force extra innings. Junior Trista Chavez (San Pedro, Calif.) batted 2-for-3 in the opener with a double, run and RBI to cap a 3-for-6 day, while sophomore Janet Leung (Mississauga, Ontario) and freshman Christina Andrews (Southlake, Texas) each went 3-for-7. Freshman Julia Schoenewald (Jamison, Pa.) cracked a solo home run in the bottom of the eighth to push a one-run game in the opener, and freshman Leah Nakashima (San Jose, Calif.) battled for 5.0 innings over two games while taking both losses.

In game one, Brown rallied for two runs in the bottom of the seventh on doubles by Chavez and Williams to take the game to extras, but Princeton's Haley Hineman knocked a two-run single to push across a pair of unearned runs that gave the Tigers the 7-6 win. Shanna Christian picked up the win in relief for Princeton, throwing 1.1 innings and allowing a run on Schoenewald's solo shot in the eighth.

Andrews got things started in the bottom of the first with a two-out infield hit and scored when the left fielder misplayed a Chavez single. The Tigers got two back in the second when Marissa Reynolds and Rachel Rendina poked back-to-back RBI singles with two outs. Princeton looked to add to its lead in the third when a double, hit-by-pitch and sacrifice bunt put runners on second and third with one out, but senior Jessica Cherness (Torrance, Calif.) recorded two clutch strikeouts to strand the runners.

The Bears regained the lead with two runs on three hits in the bottom of the third. Freshman Casey Fisher (Oro Valley, Ariz.) led off with an infield base hit and Andrews laced a one-out single. A passed ball shifted runners to second and third and Chavez drew a walk to load the bases. Williams cracked a single through the left side to score both runners, giving Brown a 3-2 lead. The Tigers came right back with a three-spot in the fourth, however, pushing two across on an Alyssa Schmidt double and another on an RBI groundout by Maddie Cousens.

Freshman Gina Chieffallo (Eynon, Pa.) got Brown through the sixth with 3.0 innings of shutout, one-hit relief, giving way to Nakashima to come on in the seventh, who retired the Tigers in order minus a two-out walk. Facing the final out, Andrews ripped a full-count, two-out double to the left centerfield wall, Chavez brought her home with a two-bagger to left and Williams made it three straight with an RBI double to right, tying the score at 5-5.

With one out in the top of the eighth, the Tigers recorded a single and benefited from a fielding error in center to place runners on second and third. Schoenewald made a diving catch in foul territory to secure the second out, but Haley Hineman fought through a long at-bat and blooped a two-run single to right for a 7-5 lead, once again facing Brown with its final at bats. Schoenewald turned around a pitch for a solo shot to left, making it a 7-6 game, but Christian recorded the final two outs on two grounders.

Hineman carried the Princeton offense in game two, going 4-for-4 with a first-inning homer and three RBI. Erica Nori tossed a complete game, allowing three runs on seven hits over 7.0 innings. The Tigers pushed across three more runs in the second, the first on a two-out fielding miscue and two more on a Schmidt RBI single up the middle. Nori retired the Bears in order for the first three innings, putting her hitters in position to open up a 6-0 lead on Hineman's two run base hit in the fourth.

Leung broke up the no-hitter with a one-out infield single in the home half of the fourth but another Brown error in the top of the fifth led to Kayle Bose ripping an RBI single to lift the Tigers to a 7-0 advantage. The Bears cracked the scoreboard in the bottom of the frame, beginning with a Williams infield single and Mecca's double to right center. Schoenewald spoiled the shutout with a sac fly to center and junior Sam Brady (Vienna, Va.) made good use of a pinch hit opportunity with an RBI groundout to short.

The teams swapped scoreless turns at bat and Princeton added an insurance run when Kelsey Smith roped an RBI double to left center in the top of the seventh. Trailing 8-2, Mecca led off the home half with a towering shot the just snuck inside the left foul pole to make it 8-3. Freshman Sarah Syrop (Kennesaw, Ga.) rolled an infield single to keep the inning alive, but Nori sealed the sweep with a strikeout.

Brown returns to action with an Ivy League doubleheader at Penn on Wednesday at 1:30 p.m.