March 1, 2014

Inferno Earns Opening Day Split

CAPE CORAL, Fla. -- Erin Dulek opened the season with 11 strikeouts in a complete-game shutout as Alverno College defeated Clark University of Massachusetts 8-0 in six innings. The Inferno dropped the nightcap, 6-2, to Franklin College.

The Inferno (1-1) tagged Clark's Hayley Buckheit for eight hits in the season-opener for both teams, led by rookies Kristin Holub and Raquel Starke, who had two hits apiece.

Holub's single up the middle in the bottom of the first inning plated the first two runs of the game, and Megan Rossi followed with an RBI-single for the game's third run. A Clark fielding error capped off the five-run first inning for the Inferno.

Clark's Rachel Kraytenberg laced a single past a diving Stephanie Skibba at second base with two outs in the top of the fourth to end Dulek's no-hit bid. The Cougars (0-1) added another two-out hit in the fifth, but it would be the last time they would reach base.

After Emily Ortner led off the Inferno's half of the fifth with a walk, Holub sent her home with an RBI-double to deep left-center field. An infield single by Starke scored Holub extend the Inferno's lead to 7-0.

Alexis Botsford reached base on Clark's third error of the game to lead off the bottom of the sixth, and after Skibba's bunt moved the rookie into scoring position, Ortner blasted a shot to left-center field for the game-winning hit that scored Botsford.

In the nightcap against the Grizzlies, the Inferno struck first as Ashleigh Sagat knocked home Ortner in the top of the first.

The score remained 1-0 until the bottom of the fourth when a sacrifice bunt by Franklin (2-0) evened the game, 1-1.

The Grizzlies added three more runs in the fifth, all unearned for Rossi who got the game two start, after an Inferno error.

Sagat got her second RBI of the game in the top of the sixth to plate Botsford and trim Franklin's lead to just a pair of runs, but the Grizzlies added two more in the bottom half of the inning off of Dulek who entered the inning in relief.

The Inferno was retired in order in the seventh for the 6-2 final.

Alverno will get a rematch with the Grizzlies tomorrow morning at 9, followed by a 1 p.m. contest versus Wilmington College of Ohio in Fort Myers.

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