*Photos provided by St. John Fisher athletics.
Tanner Swan, Editor- In- Chief
After playing the waiting game with the Rochester weather following its spring break trip to Florida, the St. John Fisher softball team has won four straight games against the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford and Clarkson University.
On Thursday March 30, the Cardinals used dominant pitching and timely hitting to claim 2-1 and 8-0 victories in a doubleheader with Clarkson. The two victories marked 100 and 101 wins for head coach Bari Mance.
“It’s an honor to be able to share this experience with the [senior] girls that I started with. I knew how talented we could be, and I’m just glad that they’ve not only met but exceeded expectations,” she said. “We all work so hard day in and day out, that to reach an initial milestone like 100 is truly humbling.”
In the first game, Monica Moses gave up just one run on four hits and contributed four strikeouts through seven innings. Her season ERA is now 1.07 in seven starts as both herself and fellow pitching teammate Lindsey Thayer have helped make the Cardinal pitching staff as dominant as any staff in Division III.
“Our pitching staff has done what we’ve expected them to do,” Mance said. “The key to our success is to have them not only continue what they’ve done, but build off it.”
After giving up a solo home run in the first inning, the Cardinals tied up the score in the bottom of the sixth inning when Ashley Prince singled home Katie Mazierski.
The Cardinals quickly threatened to finish the game in the bottom of the seventh when Sarah Kubik reached on a single as the inning’s first batter. Karlie Neale was then hit by a pitch to set up runners on second and first for Genevieve Paeglow. Paeglow struggled to get a bunt down in order to advance the runners, but more than made up for it with a line drive shot to center field to deliver a walk-off win for the Cardinals.
“I knew it was a big at bat and I was going to have to get the bunt down and when that didn’t go as planned, I knew I had to hit the ball into the outfield,” she explained. “As soon as it hit the bat, I knew I hit it hard.”
Following the thrilling 2-1 victory, Fisher used a five-run third inning to cruise to an 8-0 mercy win in the second game.
Paglow again hit a walk-off clinching hit and Kubik again scored the game’s clinching run, as an eight run lead after five innings ends the game in Division III softball.
Kubik finished her impressive day going 4-for-6 at the plate with three RBI’s and three runs scored. Prince was 3-for-6 at the plate with four RBI’s and one run scored.
Thayer struck out 10 batters in just five innings to move her ERA to 0.27 on the year.
Fisher now moves on to an important weekend slate of games against conference opponents. The Cardinals matchup with Elmira College in a doubleheader on Saturday starting at 2:30 p.m. The team will then quickly turn around to play Stevens Institute of Technology in another doubleheader starting at 1 p.m.