COLLEGEVILLE, Pa. – Thanks to the red-hot arm of Kayla McTamney and the big bat of Mackenzie Brennan, the Ursinus College softball team kept its playoff push on course with a split against Centennial Conference leader Haverford on Tuesday.
Following an 11-1, mercy-rule setback in a 6-inning opener, the Bears (18-14-1, 8-5) needed a pick-me-up in a big way. They got it in the form of McTamney, who extended a lights-out stretch of pitching with another complete-game gem in the nightcap as the rookie allowed just one earned run and four hits in a 7-2 Game 2 victory.
Brennan was 3-for-4 with two doubles, three RBI, and two runs scored in the second contest, helping Ursinus remain in a tie for third place in the conference standings.
Game 1: Haverford 11, Ursinus 1 (6)
The opener was a pitchers' duel until it wasn't, going into the fourth inning with hardly a hit until the Fords' offense exploded over the final three frames.
Haverford (22-10-2, 9-3-2) jumped on top with three runs in the fourth, highlighted by a two-run single from Ashley Sisto. Junior Jennifer Hammons got back-to-back outs at home after fielding comebackers to limit the damage.
Ursinus came right back in its half of the fourth, getting on the board courtesy of an RBI single by senior Gabrielle Manto. The Bears loaded the bases with one out, but Fords ace Temma Levis escaped further harm with consecutive outs.
Haverford piled on three more runs in the fifth and five in the sixth to close out the game in six innings. Marybeth Stone finished 2-for-4 with two doubles, four RBI, and three runs, while Rachel Wolfson was 3-for-4 with two runs and two RBI and Sisto had a 3-for-4, four-RBI output with a pair of doubles.
Levis (13-2) allowed five hits and one run over six innings. Hammons (8-8) was tagged with five runs on eight hits in five frames.
Game 2: Ursinus 7, Haverford 2
The nightcap started much like the first, this time taking its run of goose eggs all the way into the bottom of the fifth until the Bears went off and put the game away with a five-run outburst.
After freshman Ally St. Jean was hit by a pitch and senior Callie Crouse drew a walk, senior Sammi Donato put down a perfect sacrifice to advance both runners. Brennan then lashed a single up the middle to plate the game's first two runs.
After a base hit by sophomore Megan Hasulak, sophomore Morgan Comfort doubled into the right-center gap to make it 3-0, and senior Kayla Quinn brought Hasulak home with a single up the middle. Manto's sacrifice fly capped the crooked inning and gave McTamney a huge cushion.
Stone prevented a shutout and snapped a streak of 24.1 consecutive scoreless innings for McTamney with a two-out RBI single in the top of the sixth.
Brennan doubled in another run for the Bears in the bottom half and scored on Hasulak's RBI single to make it 7-1, and the Fords scored an unearned run in the seventh.
McTamney (5-2) was her typically efficient self, mowing through the Haverford lineup in just 81 pitches. She did not strike out a batter, but walked just one and conceded only four hits. She also made several nice plays in the circle, snagging a line drive back up the box among many comeback grounders.
In addition to Brennan's big game, Hasulak finished 2-for-4 with a run and an RBI.
The Bears break from CC play for a road trip to Alvernia on Thursday.