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Softball Edged by Cortland in Extras, Bested by No. 2 Salisbury on Sunday

Tracy Panati
Tracy Panati

SALISBURY, Md. – The Ursinus softball team concluded a four-game weekend series at Salisbury with a pair of losses to Cortland and the Sea Gulls on Sunday afternoon. The Bears were edged by the Red Dragons 6-5 in a 10-inning marathon and downed 11-3 in five innings by the second-ranked Sea Gulls.


With the losses, the Bears dropped to 7-6 overall. Meanwhile, the Red Dragons moved their record to 7-7 overall and the Sea Gulls improved to 24-2.


GAME ONE – Cortland 6, Ursinus 5 (10 Innings)

The Bears served as the home team against the Red Dragons and fell behind 1-0 in the top of the first following a single and a triple. However, Ursinus rallied for three runs on four hits in the bottom of the first to take a 3-1 advantage. Senior Mackenzie Brennan led off with a double to center and junior Allyson Meakim drove her in with a double of her own in the next at-bat. Meakim came around to score two batters later off a double from senior Ally St. Jean and sophomore Sam Williams capped the inning with a run-scoring single. The Bears stranded runners on first and second with one out in the bottom of the second and the Red Dragons tied the game with a pair of runs in the top of the third. Cortland seemed poise to take the lead back in the top of the fourth when they loaded the bases with no outs. Junior pitcher Alexis Miller dug deep and escaped with no runs allowed after getting a force out at home along with back-to-back fly outs. Junior Amanda Panati drew a walk to open the bottom of the fourth and advanced to second on a wild pitch. Jordan Moore followed with a single to right field to score Panati and put the Bears back in front at 4-3. Following a scoreless fifth inning, the Red Dragons knotted the game up at four on a two-out single. Ursinus put runners on second and third base with no outs in the bottom of the seventh after a walk, error, plus a passed ball. Cortland managed to a shallow fly out and a ground out to the pitcher before ultimately escaping to extra innings by getting a pop out to the second baseman after a walk loaded the bases.


Each team did not score a run in the eighth inning, but the Red Dragons broke the tie in the top of the ninth with a single after they moved their runner on second base to start the inning to third on a bunt. The Bears stayed alive in the bottom of the ninth as first-year Samantha Mallen drove in lead runner Julia Eckels on a sacrifice fly. Cortland took the lead back at 6-5 in the top of the 10th on a single after the lead runner was moved to third on a deep fly ball. The Bears got the hit they needed in the bottom half of the inning from Panati, but pinch runner Madison Wilson was thrown out at home trying to score from second. Moore ripped a deep fly to center field that was snagged by the Red Dragons outfielder to end the game in the next at-bat.


GAME TWO – Salisbury 11, Ursinus 3 (5 innings)

Like they did in the meeting on Saturday, the Sea Gulls jumped on the Bears quickly in the first inning by hitting a lead off home run for the second-straight day. Salisbury added two more runs in the bottom of the first to take a 3-0 lead before going up 5-0 in the bottom of the second. The Bears managed to get a run across in the top of the third inning after loading the bases with one out. Sophomore Grace White hit into a 1-6 double play to end the inning, but Mallen managed to score before the double play was completed. Ursinus cut further into the Sea Gulls lead in the top of the fourth by adding two more runs with two outs to make it a 5-3 game. Moore and sophomore Sara Sullivan kept the inning alive with back-to-back singles and advanced a base following a passed ball. Mallen and Eckels followed with two more singles to drive the pair of runs in. The Bears left runners on first and third in the top of the fifth and the Sea Gulls ended the game in the bottom half of the inning by scoring six runs on five hits to enact the run rule. Salisbury scored all six runs with two outs and four of them came from back-to-back home runs.


Mallen and Eckels each went 2-of-2 from the plate with an RBI in game two while Moore went 2-of-3 with a run scored. St. Jean and Brennan each recorded two hits in game one while five different Bears drove in a run. Miller valiantly battled through the full 10 innings on 136 pitches in the circle for game one as she allowed six runs (four earned) on 11 hits and struck out three baters.


The Bears return to action on Tuesday, March 29th as they will travel to face Immaculata for a non-conference doubleheader starting at 3 p.m.