POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. - The Marist softball team (27-22) closed the home portion of its 2012 regular season with a doubleheader split versus Hudson Valley rival Army. After a 6-4 setback in Game One, the Red Foxes came back with vengeance in Game Two and won a run-shortened contest 9-1 in five innings. Junior Danielle Koltz (Chenango Bridge, N.Y.) led a Marist offense, who combined for 20 hits in two games, with a home run and a team-high five RBIs. In the circle, sophomore Paige Lewis (Temecula, Calif.) threw a complete three-hitter in Game Two for the win.
GAME ONE, ARMY 6 - MARIST 4: Facing off with the winningiest pitcher in Division 1 softball this season in Morgan Lashley, the Red Foxes came out fast in the bottom of the first inning with four runs. Following a walk by senior Megan Lamoureux (Woonsocket, R.I.), Koltz hit her eighth home run of the season as she went to the opposite field. An RBI single by sophomore Aly Klemmer (Hamilton, N.J.) drove in Nicole DiVirgilio (Aston, Pa.) for the inning's third run. The next batter, sophomore Haley Birnbaum (Lido Beach, N.Y.) wrapped up the scoring as she doubled to left-center field to drive in Klemmer.
Army responded quickly in next inning with two runs to make the game 4-2.
Eventually, the Black Knights would even the score at 4-4 in the top of the fourth inning.
With the score tied, freshman Melanie White (Highlands Ranch, Colo.) came in out of the bullpen and held down an explosive Army offense that came into Wednesday's doubleheader with a .285 batting average. After entering with one out in the fourth, White would keep the Black Knights out of the hit column until two outs in the top of the seventh. Unfortunately, for White and the Red Foxes, that first hit would be a two-run single up the middle by Reanna Johnson to give Army its first lead of the game at 6-4.
The score would hold final at 6-4, as Lashley added her to NCAA win lead with victory number 31.
As a team, Marist outhit Army 8-5. Senior Ashley Corriss (Sayville, N.Y.) and Klemmer each had two hits to lead the Red Foxes. In the circle, freshman Janine Lalli (Eastchester, N.Y.) got a no-decision as she went 3.1 innings, striking out two and giving up four runs, two of which were earned. White was the hard-luck loser as she finished with a pitching line of 3.2 innings pitched, one hit, one strike out and two runs against.
GAME TWO, MARIST 9 - ARMY 1 (5): For the second game in a row, Marist's bats were connecting on Army pitching in the early goings. Following a Black Knight run in the top of the first, the Red Foxes responded with a run of their own in the bottom of the first. Klemmer capped the four-hit inning with an RBI single up the middle to drive in Koltz.
In the second inning, Marist saw its first two batters reach base safely, junior Sarah Carmody (Camarillo, Calif.) via a walk and sophomore Nicole Van Loan (Kingston, N.Y.) with an infield single. Both of the Red Foxes would later come around to score on a single down the right field line by Koltz to give Marist a 3-1 lead.
Following a quiet third inning, Marist added two more runs to its lead in the fourth as Lamoureux drove a two-run home run over the right-center field wall.
The fifth inning would be the final frame of action and the Red Foxes would go out with a bang. Sophomore Alyssa Zahka (Lexington, Mass.) ended the top of the inning with a quick catch, pop and throw down to second base to catch the speedy Amanda Nguyen by a full two steps.
With this momemtum, Zahka led off the bottom of the fifth with a single through the left side. Coming in as a pinch hitter Janine Lalli singled through the right side of the infield to give Marist runners on first and third. Following a walk drawn by Carmody loaded the bases, Corriss begin a string of four straight Red Foxes with RBIs. Corriss collected her RBI with a hit by pitch, Lamoureux with a single, Koltz with a walk and DiVirgilio with a single to right-center field. These four runs would give Marist an eight-run advantage and the run-rule 9-1 victory.
For the game, the Red Foxes outhit the Black Knights 12-3. Eight different Red Foxes had hits and nine reached base with Zahka leading the way with three singles. Lamoureux and Koltz each had three RBIs, while Van Loan scored a team-high three runs. In the circle, Paige Lewis threw a three-hit complete game. The sophomore struck out three Black Knights and allowed just one unearned run to improve her record to 4-5 on the season.
For the doubleheader, Marist had 20 hits. This was the Red Foxes seventh doubleheader of the season with 20 or more hits. The team hit .385 (20-53) and had a .492 (31-63) on-base percentage. Six Red Foxes had on-base percentages of .429 or better on the afternoon. In the circle, Marist's trio of pitchers combined for a 2.33 ERA and a .190 batting average against.
With five RBIs, Koltz has plated 39 runs in 2012, a total that currently sits fourth all-time in Marist single season history. For a career, Koltz has hit 19 round-trippers, the sixth-most in Red Fox history. Her eight home runs this season put her in a tie for seventh all-time.
Marist will head into its final weekend of regular season action with the first of back-to-back MAAC doubleheaders on Saturday at Siena. Game One is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m.