CLERMONT, Fla. – The Alverno softball team picked up two more victories on Wednesday as the Inferno pounded out 15 hits in an 8-0 victory over Saint Vincent, before pulling off the comeback walk-off victory over previously unbeaten Bridgewater by a 6-5 score in game two.
With the wins, Alverno improves to 5-1 on the season which ties the best start in program history as Alverno also started the 2013 season with a 5-1 record.
It was an all-around team effort as seven players had multi-hit days between the two games including sophomore Lauren Greif, who tallied four hits and was the only player with multiple extra-base hits as she picked up a pair of doubles.
Greif along with senior Carina Jimenez both had three RBIs apiece on the day, including Jimenez' walk-off single in the bottom of the seventh against Bridgewater. Also driving in multiple runs were junior Brandi Rice and sophomore Kaitlynn Schmick with two RBIs apiece.
With her two hits on the day Andie Vantertie became the 13th player in program history to record 100 hits for a career, with the career record currently held by Stef Wilmore '13 at 180 career hits.
Seniors Samantha Chapnick and Sam Korn, along with juniors Kaitlynn Johnson and Sara Redlin all got in on the hit parade. Senior Karli Selear scored two runs, while classmates Dani Hood and Cailey Jeske both scored the game-tying and game-winning runs in the walk-off win over Bridgewater.
Korn got the start in game one and went four scoreless innings while allowing just one hit through the first four innings, the first two batters singled in the fifth inning as Schmick came on and tossed two scoreless innings to close out the win for Alverno.
In game two it was Greif to get the starting nod and allowed just one hit in her first inning of work. Schmick was next in line tossing two innings and allowing two runs on two hits. Korn retired one batter while walking another before Akin came on to pitch the final 3 2/3 innings to secure her first career win.
Alverno got two singles in the first inning but were unable to break through as Korn then took over and worked around a leadoff work in the bottom of the first.
The Inferno got their offense started in the second inning as Rice reached with a one-out single up the middle, followed by Korn bunting Rice over into scoring position. Rice made it to third on a wild pitch before Chapnick drove her in to open the scoring at 1-0 in favor of Alverno.
Akin opened the third inning with a leadoff single before Greif hit a screaming ball off the base of the wall in right centerfield to chase pinch-runner Johnson all the way home from first. Korn continued to roll in the bottom half of the inning, as she stranded the bases loaded with a key fly ball to Hood in left field.
Neither side was able to get their offenses going in the fifth as the two starters matched zeroes. However, Alverno's offense erupted for four runs on five hits in the fifth inning to put the game out of reach.
Akin opened with a single, while Redlin ran for her and moved up to second on a wild pitch. Greif came up with another run-scoring hit as she doubled down the leftfield line to drive Redlin in. Schmick traded places with her as she connected on a double down the rightfield line before Jimenez singled to bring Schmick around. The final run came in on an RBI ground out by Rice as the Inferno took a commanding 6-0 lead.
After the first two batters reached in the bottom of the inning, Schmick came on and got three key outs to end the Saint Vincent threat and send the game to the sixth. Alverno got the offense rolling again as Mathies singled, while Redlin then reached on a fielder's choice. Schmick helped her own cause with a single to drive in a pair to put Alverno up by eight.
Schmick yielded a pair of baserunners in the bottom of the frame, but got out of the inning with a key defensive double play to end the ballgame.
In a closely contested matchup throughout, it was Alverno to hand Bridgewater its first loss of the season in walk-off fashion.
Greif got the game started in the circle, allowing a leadoff single, but she got the next three batters to bring Alverno's offense back up to bat. Greif helped her own cause with a one-out double before Redlin pinch ran. Two batters later, Jimenez doubled to right field on a ball that dropped into play allowing Redlin to score the game's opening run.
With Greif's departure in the first inning, Schmick came on in relief in the second and was welcomed rudely by a long ball to left centerfield to tie the game at one. Alverno got two runners on base in the bottom of the inning but were unable to break the deadlock.
Bridgewater took the lead in the third inning with a solo run before adding an insurance run with a single in the fifth inning to take a 3-1 lead. The Eagles added two more runs on a double in the sixth inning as the lead swelled to 5-1.
In the bottom of the sixth Redlin got the rally going with a ball up the middle, before Johnson reached on an infield single. Jimenez lined into a double play but was followed by Vandertie, who drove a ball into the right centerfield gap as Alverno trimmed the lead to 5-2. Selear pinch ran and stole second before Rice drove her in with a ball to the opposite field to pull Alverno back within two at 5-3.
Akin held the Eagles in check in the top of the seventh with two groundouts and a strikeout.
Mathies got the bottom of the seventh started with a one-out walk before Akin singled to send Mathies to third. Hood ran for Akin to put more speed on the baseline before Greif reached on an error allowing Hood to score. Jeske then pinch ran for Greif as she carried the game-winning run before Johnson bunted both Hood and Jeske into scoring position.
Up next was Jimenez who fought through a tough at bat and worked the count full before pulling a ball into left centerfield as Hood trotted home easily, the ball was misplayed by the Eagle leftfielder allowing Jeske to break for the plate and score the game-winning run.
Alverno (5-1) will be back in action on Thursday, when the team takes on Bates beginning at 9 a.m. EST from the Osceola Softball Complex in Kissimee. Later in the day the Inferno will battle Houghton at approximately 11:15 a.m. EST.