CHICAGO – The University of Chicago softball team began its afternoon doubleheader with a 4-0 win, but visiting Roosevelt University snapped a scoring drought early in the second game and withstood a Maroon rally to force a split with a 6-5 decision on Friday at Stagg Field.
UChicago (13-19 record) held their opponents scoreless in 12 of the 14 innings played, only for Roosevelt (14-31) to capitalize on the three runs they scored in each of the other two innings. The Lakers likewise limited the Maroons, who mustered 10 hits on the day and crossed the plate in just three innings.
The first contest saw two UChicago pitchers combine for a three-hit shutout, as first-year Bethany Regnerus (8-6) opened with six strong innings to earn the victory and junior Megan Stoppelman shut the door in the seventh. The top of the order supplied the bulk of the offense for the hosts as first-year left fielder Samantha Lauro went 2-for-3 and came around to score twice from the leadoff spot, while in the No. 2 slot junior right fielder Abby Hayes also went 2-for-3, driving in two runs and tallying one herself.
Several hard-hit balls found Roosevelt fielders in the second contest, but the Maroons stayed patient at the plate and drew eight walks, most of which powered a third-inning rally that kept the game alive in the face of an early deficit. Stoppelman (1-2) took the loss after starting the first inning, but senior Jordyne Prussak shouldered most of the load with six and one-third innings of work.
UChicago's first trip to the plate went according to plan as Lauro carved an infield single after a long at-bat. Hayes followed up with a stand-up double on a shot to left field that brought Lauro home easily.
Roosevelt got its leadoff batter aboard to start off the second inning but failed to advance further thanks to a web gem from sophomore third base Skye Collins. Anticipating the bunt, Collins rushed in and dove forward as it hung in the air. After making a stunning grab just a few feet from home plate, she then fired from her knees to first and doubled off the runner.
In the top of the third two Lakers reached base, but this effort came to an abrupt end on a strike-'em-out, throw-'em-out as Regnerus got the batter swinging and sophomore catcher Gabi Angellotti extinguished a steal attempt at third.
The Maroons found themselves in a more serious jam in the fifth inning as Roosevelt loaded the bases with none away. After picking up one out on a soft line drive, UChicago turned another crucial double play, this time as junior shortstop Emma Nelson snared a rocket and flipped it to third for a quick two.
With the hosts having survived a few close calls the Maroon bats finally made things more comfortable in the bottom half. First-year first base Jules Waller got things going with a single. Her fellow first-year Maddy Mudrick, running for Waller, stole second and eventually third. An infield single from Lauro could not get Mudrick over, but then Hayes knocked a base hit to left for her second RBI of the day. Angellotti brought Lauro in with a grounder, and with runners on the corners, UChicago baited the catcher into throwing down on a steal attempt, trading an out for a run to make it 4-0.
The Lakers picked up a hit in each of the final two innings but never threatened to even things up as the Maroons finished off the first game handily.
The second contest took a different turn as Roosevelt jumped out to a 3-0 on four hits and three walks in the first inning. The Lakers doubled their margin with three more in the second, this time on a string of singles. It might have been worse except for another double play produced through superb defensive effort, this time as Hayes gathered a fly ball deep in right field and rifled it home, where first-year catcher Katie O'Donnell spun left to apply a well-placed tag.
Senior second base Colleen Bennett smashed a ball to the wall through a heavy wind in the bottom of the second inning only to watch the Lakers' left fielder hold on for the catch as she crashed face-first into the fence.
Despite trailing by six runs, UChicago stayed patient at the plate and reaped the rewards in the third inning. Three walks loaded the bases for senior slugger Maeve Garvey, who drew another walk to plate the Maroons' first run. A ground ball scored another, then a fifth walk reloaded the bases. Angelotti entered to hit and earned another base on balls, putting a third run over and keeping the bases full. Collins then drilled a grounder that beat the third base and scurried into left field, bringing in two more to pull UChicago right back in it at 6-5.
That would be the end of the scoring, however, as the Maroons poked just one hit in each of the next three innings despite consistently putting the ball in play. The tying run did reach third in the bottom of the sixth after a wild pitch, but could not make it home as Garvey pulled a long ball foul then flew out deep the other way to end the inning.
- Monday, April 29 @ 3:00 PM - Wheaton College at UChicago (DH)