KISSIMMEE, Fla. – The Alverno softball team salvaged a split on Thursday afternoon as the Inferno knocked off the Houghton Highlanders by the score of 7-5 at the Osceola Softball Complex in Central Florida. Earlier in the day the Inferno had its four-game winning streak snapped by Bates, as Alverno fell by a 4-0 margin.
On the day three players had three-hit afternoons as senior Carina Jimenez had three on the day including the 100th of her career in the second game against Houghton. Jimenez becomes the 14th player to reach the century mark in career hits, most recently done a day earlier by classmate Andie Vandertie. Both Vandertie and senior Mackenzie Mathies also had three hits on the afternoon.
Vandertie had a pair of RBIs, while senior Sam Korn and junior Sara Redlin also had solo RBIs with one hit apiece. Junior Kaitlynn Johnson also had one hit on the day and scored a run. Seven different players crossed the plate as Jimenez, Mathies, Johnson, Redlin, Korn along with senior Dani Hood and sophomore Lauren Greif all scored runs in the second game.
Freshman Natalie Akin got the start in the opener for the Inferno and matched the Bates starter through the first four innings before getting touched for two runs in both the fifth and sixth innings before throwing a scoreless seventh inning.
Korn pitched the seven innings in the second game and improved to 2-0 on the season while striking out three batters and yielding five runs on as many hits.
Alverno served as the home team against the Bobcats of Bates, with Akin allowing a one out single before avoiding the threat. Akin kept the Bobcats at bay in the second inning as she stranded the bases loaded. Korn reached on a two-out error in the second but the game remained scoreless heading to the third.
After scoreless third and fourth innings, Bates put two runners on with one out. A bunt moved the pair into scoring position before a single down the leftfield line plated the first two runs of the game. Johnson walked with two outs in the fifth inning but Alverno was unable to convert.
Bates added two more runs in the sixth inning on a single and double to increase its lead to four.
Alverno was unable to get its offense going in the sixth or the seventh innings as Bates held on for the shutout win.
Alverno got right back in the win column later in the day, when the Inferno took on Houghton. Vandertie and Akin reached on a single and walk respectively with one out in the top of the first before Jimenez singled to load the bases. However Houghton was able to end the threat with a strikeout and fly ball.
Korn went to work in the bottom of the first and was touched up by a two-run double to left centerfield before getting the third out of the inning. After getting through the second and third innings unscathed, Korn retired the first two batters of the fourth inning. However the next two reached before a wild pitch scored the third Houghton run, followed by a double to make the score 4-0.
Alverno's offense finally awoke in the fifth inning as Korn started off the frame with a walk followed by Mathies singling on a bunt to put two on. Greif was hit by a pitch to load the bases before Vandertie singled through the infield to cut the lead in half as Korn and Mathies scored. Two batters Jimenez singled up the middle to chase Greif home to get Alverno back within one.
Redlin was up next and dropped a perfectly placed bunt that was deadened allowing Hood score the tying run and make it 4-4. Redlin stole second and Johnson dropped a bunt single to load the bases. Senior Samantha Chapnick was up next and reached on a fielder's choice, after the lead runner was thrown out at the plate the catcher attempted to double-up Chapnick and threw the ball down the right field line allowing two more runs to score to put Alverno up 6-4.
Korn quickly retired the Highlanders in the bottom of the fifth, but allowed Houghton to score one more in the sixth to make it a one-run game heading into the final inning.
Jimenez led off the seventh inning with a single before junior Brandi Rice walked to put two on. Three batters later Korn helped her own cause with a double to right centerfield allowing Jimenez to score a needed insurance run heading to the bottom of the seventh.
The first two batters walked for the Highlanders in the seventh but Hood made a defensive grab in left field down the line. The last two batters grounded out to give Alverno its sixth win of the season.
Alverno (6-2) will wrap-up its Florida swing on Friday, when the Inferno battles Sage at 9 a.m. at the Sleepy Hollow Sports Complex in Leesburg. Later in the day the Inferno will battle Saint Elizabeth at approximately 11:45 a.m.