NORFOLK, Va. - After winning its final game on Saturday by nine runs, the Marist Softball team duplicated that result in Game One on Sunday with a 10-1 drubbing of Army at Norfolk State's Spartan Classic. The Red Foxes finished the two-day event with an 8-6 defeat at the hands of the host Spartans. Senior Christina Lausch (Lancaster, Pa.) led Marist with three RBIs, while sophomore Janine Lalli (Eastchester, N.Y.) pitched a sterling six-inning win over Army, in which she allowed just one unearned run.
GAME 1, MARIST 10 - ARMY 1 (F/6): Though the Red Foxes would win the opening contest by a mercy-rule margin of nine runs, it took the offense four innings to really get on track.
After a single run by the Black Knights in the bottom of the third spotted Army the lead, Marist quickly responded in the next frame with three runs. A double by senior Sarah Carmody (Camarillo, Calif.) began the rally to place runners on second and third with one out. Called on to pinch-hit Lausch showed that she up to the task as she plated both runners with a double to center field. Freshman Kyrsten Van Natta (Maplewood, N.J.) would notch the third RBI of the inning with a sacrifice fly to score Taylor Kuzma (Freehold, N.J.).
Up 3-1, the Red Foxes would score another three runs in the top of fifth inning to go up 6-1. Junior Aly Klemmer (Hamilton, N.J.) and Kuzma would earn RBIs in the frame; Klemmer notched hers with a double to center field and Kuzma with a single to right field.
Marist would clinch the win and mercy-rule situation in the following inning with four runs to extend its lead to 10-1. Senior Danielle Koltz (Chenango Bridge, N.Y) kick started the offense in the sixth with a triple to drive in freshman Maureen Duddy (San Mateo, Calif.). After scoring on a wild pitch, Koltz passed the torch to fellow classmate Sarah Carmody to finish off the run production as she notched two RBIs with her second double in three at bats.
After a three-up, three-down bottom of the sixth inning by Lalli, the Red Foxes would earn the 10-1 victory.
For the game, seven Marist batters recorded hits with Carmody going a team-high 2-4. Carmody and Lausch each drove in two runs. Junior Haley Birnbaum (Lido Beach, N.Y.) scored a team-high three runs.
In the circle, Lalli cruised for the six inning complete game win on 87 pitches. The sophomore hurler allowed six hits and one unearned run, while striking out one and forcing nine ground outs.
GAME 2, NORFOLK STATE 8 - MARIST 6: The Red Foxes once again fell behind early as the host Spartans jumped out to a 5-0 lead after the top of the fourth inning.
Marist chipped away at the deficit with a four runs in the bottom of the fifth. The freshmen combo of Van Natta and Duddy got the rally started with a walk and a single to put two runners on base. The three-hole hitter Koltz would plate both players when her fly out to left field was dropped. Koltz would come around to score as the next batter Alyssa Zahka (Lexington, Mass.) doubled to left-center field. Lausch notched her team-leading seventh RBI of the young season when she singled in Zahka for the team's fourth run.
Of note, Lausch's single season career-high for RBIs is eight in 2012.
With the score 5-4, Norfolk State added a run to its lead to make it 6-4 in the top of the sixth inning.
The Red Foxes would fight back to tie the game at 6-6 in the bottom of the sixth with a pair of RBIs. Koltz drove in the first run with a double to left-center field to score Van Natta, while Zahka singled in Koltz.
Unfortunately for Marist its hard-fought comeback would go for naught as the Spartans took advantage of a lead-off walk and subsequent throwing error to push across the go-ahead and eventual game-winning runs.
Down 8-6, the Red Foxes were unable to mount any scoring response as the game would go final in favor of the hosts.
For the game, six Marist players recorded hits with Alyssa Zahka leading the team with three. The junior catcher also led the team with two RBIs.
For the doubleheader, Marist hit .286 (16-56) and had a .423 (30-70) on-base percentage. Zahka posted the highest batting average at .750 (3-4).
Marist will be back in action next weekend at UMBC's Dawg Pound Invitational. Beginning with a matchup versus George Washington on Friday at 6 p.m., the Red Foxes will play five games in three days.