CHICAGO – The University of Chicago softball team broke open game one with a big rally, but couldn't find the go-ahead run in game two en route to a doubleheader split with Aurora University on Tuesday.
The Maroons ran their record to 17-6. The Spartans, who had gone 19-1 in its previous 20 games, moved to 25-7 on the season.
Game One – UChicago 6, Aurora 3
A formidable challenge opposed the Maroons in the form of Aurora ace pitcher Vanessa Hartzell. She brought a 1.33 ERA and more than one strikeout per inning into the day. However, UChicago drew first blood in the bottom of the second. Freshman shortstop Colleen Bennett walked and stole second to get herself in scoring position, and freshman outfielder Serena Moss brought her around to score with a single up the middle.
The next few innings went quickly on both sides. But the game turned hard in favor of the home team in the bottom of the fifth. The hitters got to Hartzell with five base knocks in the frame. A fielding error brought senior outfielder Devan Parkison in to make the score 2-0. Junior third base Maggie O'Hara immediately followed up with a RBI single to left field. A walk loaded the bases for freshman outfielder Maeve Garvey, who doubled down the left field line to plate two more runs. Next in order, Bennett slammed a line drive off the left field fence for a RBI double to give UChicago a 6-0 advantage.
Aurora kept itself in the contest by getting a trio of runs back in the top of the sixth. With the bases loaded and one out, a two-run double and RBI sacrifice fly halved the deficit. However, sophomore relief pitcher Molly Moran caught a popup for the third out with the score at 6-3. Moran then closed out the seventh inning to allow the Maroons to prevail.
UChicago ended up with 10 hits and committed one error. Parkison was a perfect 4-for-4 at the plate, while sophomore second base Anna Woolery went 2-for-3.
Senior pitcher Jordan Poole (4-3 record) earned the win in five innings. Her pitching line included three runs, four hits, one walk and five strikeouts. Moran hurled the final two innings with two hits and one strikeout.
Game Two – Aurora 5, UChicago 4
The third inning of game two quickly got away from the Maroons, who were forced to play catch-up from there. Two singles, two stolen bases and a walk filled the bags with no outs. A lineout and a RBI sacrifice fly put two outs on the board. But just when it appeared UChicago may escape the jam, the Spartans jacked a three-run homer to left field.
The Maroons wasted little time in its next trip to the batter's box. Parkison singled to lead off and senior first base Kathleen Kohm doubled to put runners on second and third. O'Hara grounded out, plating Parkison. A throwing error for what would have been the third out brought Kohm around for the second tally. Garvey then stepped up again with a RBI single through the left side, and the score stood at 4-3.
The tying run came one inning later. Once again, an Aurora miscue allowed the runner to score from third base.
The Spartans made up for its gaffes in the top of the sixth with the go-ahead tally. The Spartans led off with a double and a hard bunt single three batters later was enough to make it 5-4.
UChicago finished with five hits, and only one hit in the final four innings. Garvey went 2-for-3 with one RBI.
Freshman pitcher Jordyne Prussak tossed the first four innings, allowing four runs, three hits and one walk. Moran (5-3 record) took the loss in three innings. She struck out two with one run on three hits.
- Thursday, April 21 – Hope College at UChicago (DH), 3 PM