CLERMONT, FL - The Caldwell College softball team won a pair of games at the National Training Center, beating Slippery Rock University, 10-3, and Minnesota State-Moorhead, 8-0 in five innings Wednesday afternoon. The Cougars, who are ranked 17th in the latest NFCA Division II Top 25 Poll, improve to 8-1 on the season.
Cougars vs. Slippery Rock
Against Slippery Rock, Caldwell fell behind early following a three-run home run by Ashley Samluk in the bottom of the first inning. The Cougars came back in the top of the third. A grounder by sophomore Caitlin McCready (Jupiter, FL / Dwyer) allowed freshman Gracie Sullivan (Elmhurst, IL / York) to score from third, then junior Megan Fryday (San Marcos, CA / Mission Hills) belted a three-run homer to give Caldwell a 4-3 lead. In the fifth, junior Alyssa Calderon (Fontana, CA / Etiwanda) doubled home McCready and Fryday singled to plate junior Sara Zambelli (West Milford, NJ / West Milford) to make the score 6-3 Cougars. A pair of two-run home runs by junior Kristen Knorr (Monroeville, NJ / Delsea) and Sullivan in the final two innings gave Caldwell a 10-3 victory.
Sophomore Amber Padilla (Chino, CA / Pomona Catholic) pitched 5 1/3 innings, giving up three runs on six hits while striking out six and walking three to improve to 2-1. Calderon, Fryday and Sullivan each had three hits for the Cougars.
Cougars vs. Minnesota State-Moorhead
Caldwell wasted little time in the second game of the day, as the first five batters in the bottom of the first inning recorded hits. Sophomore Brielle Reighn (Runnemeade, NJ / Triton Regional) and Calderon hit RBI singles, while Fryday delivered a double to plate Reighn. Also in the first, freshman Amy Hickman (Jackson, NJ / Jackson Liberty) singled home Calderon for a 4-0 lead. In the bottom of the second, freshman Lauren Frye (Jupiter, FL / Jupiter) hit a bases-loaded triple to make the score 7-0. Frye then made it 8-0 with a single in the bottom of the fourth that plated Fryday.
Freshman pitcher Sydney Ponto (West Deptford, NJ / West Deptford) recorded her first career shutout, blanking the Dragons on two hits while fanning six and walking one in five innings to improve to 4-0. Calderon went 3-for-3 in the game and 6-for-7 in the two victories on Wednesday. McCready, Hickman and Frye tallied two hits apiece against Moorhead State.
Earlier this week, Knorr was named the Eastern College Athletic Conference Player of the Week and Ponto was selected the ECAC Pitcher of the Week.
Caldwell completes its Florida trip with games against the University of Minnesota-Crookston and St. Michael’s College on Thursday, Mar. 20 at the National Training Center in Clermont, Fla.
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