NORFOLK, Va. - After a disappointing 5-3 setback versus Delaware in Game 1 of the Spartan Classic, the Marist softball team came out with vengeance in Game 2 against the host Norfolk State Spartans and won by a score of 11-2. Seniors Danielle Koltz (Chenango Bridge, N.Y.) and Christina Lausch (Lancaster, Pa.) led the Red Foxes on the day with four RBIs and a home run. Junior hurler Paige Lewis (Temecula, Calif.) earned the team's victory in the circle with a complete game effort.
GAME 1, DELAWARE 5 - MARIST 3: The Red Foxes began their first game of the 2013 season with a bang as Koltz cranked out a home run over the left field wall to give Marist the early 1-0 lead in the first inning. That home run gave the senior slugger 20 for her career.
With a 1-0 lead in hand, senior pitcher Emily Osterhaus (Suwanee, Ga.) settled in and cruised over the next three innings, holding Delaware to just one hit. This would afford Marist the opportunity to extend its lead in the bottom of the fourth inning. Koltz once again was a facilitator as she led off with a single to center field. Two batters later, her classmate Lausch would send a long ball out to left center field for the two-run home run.
The Fighting Blue Hens would respond with a single run in the top of the fifth to make it a 3-1 ball game.
In the top of the seventh, Delaware would mount a four-run comeback on the strength of two hits, three walks and two Red Fox errors. A 1-2-3 bottom of the inning would hand Marist it's first loss of 2013 and Delaware's ninth victory.
For the contest, both Koltz (2-3) and Lausch (2-3) had multi-hit games. Osterhaus took the loss with a line of 6.1 innings pitched, eight hits, five runs (three earned) and one strikeout.
GAME 2, MARIST 11 - NORFOLK STATE 2: Marist's second game of the day started a bit slower than Game 1, as the Red Foxes didn't get onto the scoreboard until the top of the third inning when they manufactured a run with a quintessential "small ball" series. After a leadoff single by Haley Birnbaum (Lido Beach, N.Y.), the junior advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by freshman Colleen McWilliams (Monrovia, Calif.). Freshman Kyrsten Van Natta (Maplewood, N.J.) was up next and singled to left field to put runners on the corners and one out. With excellent speed on first and third, Head Coach Joe Ausanio put both runners in motion and Birnbaum was able to take home plate safely with a steal for run number one of the game.
In the next frame Norfolk State would even the score at 1-1 with a combination of three hits.
Marist finally broke the stalemate in the top of the fifth with a pair of runs. Koltz and Alyssa Zahka (Lexington, Mass.) were to two manufacturers as Koltz hit a sac fly down the right field line and Zahka dropped a bunt towards first base.
With the score 3-1, the Red Foxes blew the game open in the sixth inning, plating five runs on four hits, two of which were of the extra-base variety. Junior Aly Klemmer (Hamilton, N.J.) kick started the offense with a lead-off triple and Lausch put the exclamation mark on the inning with a two-run double. Senior Joelle Zahka (Lexington, Mass.) and Koltz drove in the other three runs in the frame.
After Norfolk State plated one run in the sixth to make it 8-2, Marist finished off their explosive outing with three more runs in the top of the seventh. Freshman Maureen Duddy (San Mateo, Calif.), McWilliams and Koltz all collected hits to spearhead the production.
In the 11-2 contest, Marist had 10 different players register hits, including Van Natta (3), Koltz (2), Nicole Cheek (Simi Valley, Calif.) (2) all collecting multiple hits. Koltz (3), A. Zahka (2), J. Zahka (2) and Lausch (2) all drove in multiple runs for the Red Foxes.
Not to be overlooked was pitching of Paige Lewis, who threw a complete game for Marist to earn her first victory of the season. Her final line was 7.0 innings, eight hits, two runs (two earned) and three strikeouts.
For the doubleheader, Marist hit .306 (19-62) and had a .358 (24-67) on-base percentage. Koltz posted the highest batting average at .571 (4-7).
Marist will complete its action at the Spartan Classic in Norfolk on Sunday with a pair of games. Beginning at 9 a.m. they face off with Army before turning right around at 11 a.m. and playing Norfolk State once again.