April 23, 2004
Softball wins third in a rowOn Tuesday, the Susquehanna softball team won its third-straight Commonwealth Conference game with a 2-1 win over Widener.
The Crusaders, who are now 14-9 overall and 6-6 in the conference, are tied for third place in the league with Widener and Juniata. There is one doubleheader remaining.
The game against Widener was the second game to a doubleheader from last Monday that ended prematurely because of rain.
With two outs in the bottom of the sixth inning, junior catcher Deanna York hit a single that allowed freshman outfielder Kelsey Conway and senior outfielder Melissa Bird to score runs, giving the Crusaders a lead that they would hold onto for the remainder of the game.
York finished 2-for-3 for the Crusaders.
Sophomore pitcher Jess Nastelli came on in relief in the fourth inning, after pitching a five-hit shutout the day before. She retired all 10 batters she faced, increasing her record to 6-3 for the season. Nastelli struck out four during Tuesday's game. She has not allowed a single run in the last 11 2/3 innings.
On Monday, the Crusaders won a double header, 2-1 and 5-0, against Messiah.
In the first game, the Crusaders trailed 1-0 in the bottom of the sixth before senior second baseman Becky Mann and York were able to score runs.
Freshman pitcher Kelly McHale had her first career victory in relief of Crusader starter junior pitcher Heather Litzebauer.
McHale allowed just one hit and no runs in four innings. She also retired the final 11 batters she faced.
In the second game, Nastelli had her second shutout of the season, improving her record to 5-3.
She allowed five singles and only one hit, with five strikeouts and no walks. It was her seventh complete game of the season.
The Crusaders took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning as senior outfielder Kelli Thompson led off with a walk and scored on an RBI single by York, who went 3-for-3 with two runs scored in the game.
Litzebauer said, "Everyone stepped up big against Messiah and Widener. By sweeping both teams, we are a serious contender for the playoffs."
On April 17, the Crusaders faced their toughest competitor in Moravian who is ranked first in the conference and extended their winning streak to 27 games after playing Susquehanna.
The first game was won 5-0 by Moravian and the second was 5-3. The Crusaders were only able to get four hits during the doubleheader and hit a four-game losing streak.
Facing the games against Moravian, the Crusaders knew that it would be tough competition, but went into the doubleheader with a positive attitude.
"Any team is capable of winning on any given day. Our goal was to go in against Moravian and play solid defense. They are an excellent hitting team. Unfortunately, we couldn't get the hits we needed to bring in some runs, and that is what ultimately hurt us," Thompson said.
Mann said, "This team is special. We really joined together this season and we have definitely improved."
Thompson's attitude probably best sums up the team's determination: "We are capable of beating any team we play. I really just want to go to playoffs and win some games."
SPORTS HEADLINESCrusaders falter in key games Lepley leads track in Messiah victory Crusaders top Gettysburg, end losing streak Softball wins third in a row Carfello nets two goals in win Holt shoots 73, team wins Invite Rosen to represent Crusaders at MACs Susquehanna says goodbye to athletes
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