Jeffs Drop 2-1 Pitcher's Deul to Visiting Springfield|
AMHERST, Mass. - In what turned into a fantastic pitching duel between senior Springfield College hurler Nan Duga (Ilion, NY) and Amherst junior Lauren Peloquin (Berkley, MA), Duga allowed only an unearned run in the bottom of the seventh inning, making the Pride's two unearned runs in the top of the first stand up in a 2-1 Springfield victory. Peloquin struck out six in the defeat, as the Jeffs fall to 19-10 on the season heading into Friday's NESCAC Tournament at Tufts University.
|Gina Scribner '04 singled |
to lead off the seventh and
scored on a sac fly for
the Jeffs' only run of the game
Duga, who entered Wednesday's non-conference pairing with a 28-8 record and a 0.78 ERA, got things started on the offensive end for the Pride, leading off the game with a deep fly ball to left field that Amherst senior Meg Nelson (Middletown, CT) misplayed into a two-base error. One out later, Springfield sophomore Allison Gerrish (Plymouth, MA) sat back on a 1-2 changeup from Peloquin and smacked a triple into the right-centerfield gap to score Duga, giving the Pride a 1-0 lead. After a Jen Starek (Holliston, MA) pop-up, Pride senior Erin Cooke (Greenwich, CT) connected for a single back through the box to plate Gerrish and give Springfield a 2-0 lead, with both runs coming unearned off of Peloquin.
The two runs would be all Duga would need through the first six innings, as the Springfield hurler retired 14 consecutive Amherst batters after hitting Jeff senior Carline Kelly (S. Dartmouth, MA) to lead-off the home first. Duga took her no-hit bid into the fifth, before Amherst reserve Della Huff (San Rafael, CA) reached on an infield single with two outs for the Jeffs' first hit, only to be stranded.
Peloquin, after the two-run first, settled down to cruise through the rest of the game, scattering five Springfield hits over the game's final six innings. The junior finished the game with six strikeouts and no earned runs allowed in seven innings of work, only to trail 2-0 heading to the bottom of the seventh inning.
In their last at-bat, the Jeffs rallied, beginning with a lead-off single from first-year first baseman Gina Scribner (Star, ID). Scribner advanced to second on a passed ball, before moving up to third on a wild pitch, scoring on a sacrifice fly from Peloquin one pitch later. Amherst sophomore Emily Melia (Hingham, MA) became Duga's fifth strikeout victim for the inning's second out, before Huff reached on a two-base throwing error by Springfield shortstop Sarah Warhaftig (South Hadley, MA). With Huff on second and two outs, Jeff sophomore Jenna Obelsky (Stoughton, MA) hit a liner back up the middle, only to have Duga snare it on a short-hop and throw to first to retire the side and seal the 2-1 win.
For Springfield, Cooke finished 3-3 with an RBI, while Gerrish picked up two hits in four trips to the plate, driving in the Pride's first run and scoring what turned out to be the game-winner. The Jeffs, who scored only two runs in two losses to Williams College on Saturday, saw their offensive woes continue, connecting for a season-low two hits in the loss. Peloquin, whose only blemish was the 1-2 pitch to Gerrish in the first, takes the loss to fall to 14-3, while Duga improves to 29-8 on the season.
Springfield (35-10) returns to action on Thursday at Eastern Connecticut State University, while the Jeffs now prepare for this weekend's NESCAC Tournament at Tufts. The Jeffs will meet the host Jumbos in game one of the four-team, double-elimination championship on Friday afternoon at 2:30 p.m., with Bowdoin College and Williams squaring off in the 5:00 p.m. nightcap.
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