CALDWELL, NJ - The Caldwell College softball team saw its winning streak end at 19 games with a 3-2 loss to visiting Post University in the second game of a Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference doubleheader Sunday afternoon at Caldwell Field. The Cougars, who won the first game, 13-4 in six innings, are now 19-2 overall and 9-1 in league play. The Eagles improve to 10-13, 6-4 CACC.
In Game 1, Caldwell put five runs on the board in the first inning, including a two-run triple by junior Alyssa Calderon (Fontana, CA / Etiwanda). Sophomore Brielle Reighn (Runnemeade, NJ / Triton Regional) hit a run-scoring double, and freshman Amy Hickman (Jackson, NJ / Jackson Liberty) bunted home Calderon in the inning. After Post scored a run in the top of the second, Calderon doubled to plate sophomore Caitlin McCready (Jupiter, FL / Dwyer) for a 6-1 lead. The Eagles used two hits and two walks in the top of the third to score three runs and make the score 6-4 Caldwell. Freshman Lauren Frye (Jupiter, FL / Jupiter) tripled home Hickman and later scored on an error in the bottom of the third for an 8-4 advantage. Senior Nicole Velardi (Belleville, NJ / Belleville) and Reighn drove in single runs in the fourth and fifth innings, then junior Kristen Knorr (Monroeville, NJ / Delsea) blasted a three-run homer in the sixth to end the game.
McCready went 4-for-4 with two runs, while Knorr was 3-for-4 with three runs, a double, a home run and three RBIs. Freshman pitcher Sydney Ponto (West Deptford, NJ / West Deptford) improved to 8-0 on the season, allowing four runs on eight hits in six innings of work.
After pounding out 17 hits in Game 1, the Cougar bats did not record a hit in Game 2 until the bottom of the fourth inning. Post scored a run in the top of the second on a single by Christina Udris to lead 1-0. Then in the top of the seventh, the Eagles scored two runs to extend their lead to 3-0. Down to their last at-bat, the Cougars rallied in the bottom of the seventh. Three singles loaded the bases for Velardi, who hit a two-run double to cut the deficit to 3-2. Caldwell loaded the bases again with two out, but a groundout ended the comeback and the game. The loss is the first for the Cougars since a 5-0 defeat to No. 8 Wayne State in the first game of the season on Mar. 14.
Kaitlin Derby held the potent Cougar offense to two runs on six hits in seven innings to improve to 4-3 on the season. Reighn and Calderon each delivered two hits for Caldwell. Sophomore pitcher Amber Padilla (Chino, CA / Pomona Catholic) gave up three runs, two earned, on eight hits in seven innings to absorb the loss.
Next up for the Cougars is a CACC doubleheader with Felician College on Monday, Apr. 7 at Caldwell Field. The first game is set to start at 3:00 p.m.
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