Softball Begins Florida Trip, Splits One-Run Decisions

Nicole Spiegelberg had two hits in each game of a Felician split in Clermont, Fla., on March 3, 2017. (Dave Schofield)
Nicole Spiegelberg had two hits in each game of a Felician split in Clermont, Fla., on March 3, 2017. (Dave Schofield)

CLERMONT, Fla. – The Felician University softball team began a 10-game stay at PFX Athletics' THE Spring Games with a pair of non-conference contests on Friday at Hancock Park. Felician ended up splitting two one-run affairs, losing its morning game to Wheeling Jesuit University, 9-8, before rebounding for a 3-2 victory over Kentucky Wesleyan College.

Freshman designated player Nicole Spiegelberg (Blauvelt, N.Y.) stroked two hits in each game for the Golden Falcons (3-4), who were ending a 10-day competitive layoff.

In its morning game against Wheeling Jesuit, Felician, the designated visiting team, fell behind, 6-0 after two innings. But, after each side plated a run in the third, the Golden Falcons came all the way back to take the lead with a seven-run fifth.

With one out in that frame, sophomore Racquel Manzo (Whittier, Calif.) and junior Jeannette Roldan (Hesperia, Calif.) lined consecutive RBI singles. One out later, an error extended the inning. Bella Davis (Chula Vista, Calif.) singled home a run, and the bases remained loaded for Golden Falcon leadoff hitter Zeaenna Brackett (Woodbury, N.J.). Brackett's double to right field initially brought home two runs, but when the throw got past third base, Davis came home to tie the score, and Brackett was also sent to score as the ball bounded out of play.

Felician junior right-hander Ashley Owens (Lockport, N.Y.) (2-2), who departed during WJU's big second inning, re-entered to pitch the bottom of the fifth. After she tossed two perfect innings, the Cardinals put their first two hitters on base in the seventh on a single and error. The runners moved up on a sacrifice, and a single by pinch-hitter Cassie Holstein (Millersport, Ohio) tied the game. A bunt single loaded the gases, and WJU earned the walk-off victory on a sacrifice fly by Molly Welsh (Bethel Park, Pa.)

Courtney Rogers (Hurricane, W. Va.) hit a two-run home run for the Cardinals (5-4), who amassed 15 hits. Erin Unterbrink (Raymond, Ohio) pitched 2 1/3 innings of one-hit relief to earn the victory. Spiegelberg had a pair of doubles for Felician.

Later on Thursday, Felician scored three times before recording an out in the bottom of the first inning. Sophomore right-hander Erin Powers (Aberdeen, N.J.) (1-1) made the early uprising stand up, going the distance on a seven-hitter and not allowing an earned run. Powers struck out two batters and walked none.

After Powers worked around a one-out double in the top of the first, Brackett led off the bottom half with a walk. A Jackie Dueñas (Riverside, Calif.) single and a Mia Montoya (Cypress, Calif.) walk loaded the bases. Spiegelberg singled home one run, and the Golden Falcons pushed the lead to 3-0 on walks to Manzo and Roldan. After a pitching change, Felician left the bases full without scoring again.

KWC received a two-run triple from freshman Jaylin Tidwell (Evansville, Ind.) in the fifth. Powers escaped a two-on, none-out jam in the sixth, then stranded the potential tying run on third base in the seventh.

Meredith Daunhauer (Evansville, Ind.) was 2 for 3 for the Panthers (13-7). Jessica Carmon (Owensboro, Ky.) pitched six innings of shutout, four-hit relief.