The Crusader Online

April 15, 2005
Vol. 46 No. 20

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Softball falls to sixth in league

With a slew of errors and dominating pitching by a pair of Middle Atlantic Conference foes, the women's softball team went 1-3 last week, lowering its conference record to 2-6, while falling to sixth place in the conference.

On Sunday, the Crusaders split a doubleheader with Wilkes, taking the opener with a score of 3-1 before falling in the nightcap in a 1-0 shutout.

Sophomore pitcher Kelly McHale allowed five hits - including a first pitch homerun - and struck out four to improve to 4-3 on the season as the Crusaders scored all three of their runs in the top of the second inning to snap a four-game losing streak.

McHale credits her winnings ways to confidence in herself, as well as her team behind her.

"I think the key to any pitching performance is confidence," McHale said. "I go into the game thinking either they won't be able to hit off me or that I have great fielders behind me that will be back me up."

"Even after the first pitch homerun, I knew that I had to keep pitching," McHale added. "There was nothing I could do about it so I just took a deep breath and laughed it off."

Freshman outfielder Jill Worlinsky recorded two RBIs with a triple and later scored on an RBI single by sophomore shortstop Sarah Shaffer.

In the nightcap, the Crusaders were held to one hit and struck out 14 times as Wilkes pitcher Laurie Agresti recorded her fourth one-hitter and fifth shutout of the season.

Senior pitcher Heather Litzebauer was given the loss for the Crusaders even though she allowed just four hits and struck out seven Lady Colonels.

She also recorded the only hit for the Crusaders as she doubled to lead off the seventh inning but did not advance further.

Shaffer combined to go 3-for-7 in both games to end the day with a batting average of .524. Shaffer currently leads the Commonwealth Conference in hitting and is also ranked sixth in Division III.

Shaffer believes that her approach at the plate has been simple.

"I have tried to stay relaxed at the plate and pick good pitches to hit," Shaffer said.

On Saturday, the Crusaders were swept in a doubleheader in conference action against Lebanon Valley, being shutout in the first game 4-0 before losing a one-run game 4-3 in the second game.

In game two, the Flying Dutchmen took advantage of four Crusader errors to score four unearned runs.

The Crusaders totaled 11 hits - 10 of them singles - and scored three runs in the second inning. The Crusaders plated two runs in their half of the second inning on an error and an RBI groundout by Shaffer.

With Lebanon Valley ahead 4-2 in the fourth inning, the Crusaders pulled within one run due to an RBI single by senior catcher Deanna York.

The Crusaders had runners thrown out on the base paths in the sixth and seventh innings to thwart potential rallies.

In the opener, senior pitcher Shannon Nagy fell to 2-2 on the season, allowing six hits and three earned runs while striking out and five and issuing one free pass in 5 1/3 innings.

With its sub-.500 record in the conference, the Crusaders are looking to keep everything together in order to make a potential playoff run.

"We're doing a lot of great things," Shaffer said, "but sometimes we aren't able to get them all working together at once. If we do this, we could be unstoppable."

SPORTS HEADLINES

Men defeat Scranton

Softball falls to sixth in league

Baseball pulls off huge upset

Women defeat Lyco

Karr takes step ahead

Golf team goes for title

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