Pioneers fall to third place in KIAC

Written By Michael Richter

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Last week, the Point Park softball team went 2-4 against Kentucky Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (KIAC) foes, which brought the team’s overall record to 20-12 and KIAC record to 15-5.

On March 31, the Pioneers split a doubleheader with cross-town rival Carlow University.

In the first game, at the end of four innings, Carlow held a 5-2 lead. Pioneers first basewoman hit a single to start the fifth inning. Catcher Jessica Beitler doubled, which scored Mao. Later in the inning, center fielder Alyssa McMurtrie rapped a two-run homerun, tying the score at five. The Pioneers finished the inning with six runs, which put them up 8-5. They added another run in the seventh inning to secure a 9-5 victory.

In game two, a two-run homer by Emily Pritts gave the Celtics a 4-2 edge in the fifth inning, and the Pioneers were unable to comeback from the deficit.

On April 1 and 2, Point Park played its inaugural home series of 2015 against Rio Grande in a fourgame contest.

In game one, Rio Grande pummeled the Pioneers 10-2 in six innings. Point Park pitcher Hannah Harley pitched 5.1 innings, allowed 11 hits and 10 earned runs. In total, the Pioneers only managed six hits.

“We didn’t get the timely hit,” said Point Park head coach Michelle Coultas after the loss.

Point Park bounced back in game two with a 7-2 victory over the Red Storm.

Rio Grande scored two runs to open the game. On the Pioneers’ first offensive session, they scored two runs. Mao hit a triple that brought in third basewoman Gabi Vogt. Shortly thereafter, Beitler singled and batted in Mao. In the fourth inning, Mao scored on an error. In the fifth, left fielder Taylor Geary clobbered a home run. Then, the Pioneers tacked on three more runs in the sixth inning.

Pitcher Kate Reese pitched all seven innings, allowed only two runs and struck out four batters. The Red Storm opened game three with a five-run, first inning. In the second inning, the Pioneers responded with a five-run inning of their own. Rio Grande scored six runs between the third, fourth and fifth innings to go up 11-5, and the Pioneers never caught up — Rio won the game 13-10.

Rio rendered the Pioneers scoreless in the final matchup of the series with an 8-0 triumph in five innings. Harley pitched four innings for the Pioneers, and she gave up nine hits and eight earned runs.

Last week’s play dropped Point Park to third place in the KIAC standings, right below Rio.

“Our team can bounce back because we put those games behind us,” McMurtrie said. “We don’t dwell on the past.”

The Pioneers’ next game is at Seton Hill on April 8.

“We’ve hit a rocky spot,” Mao said. “It’s going to be interesting to see how we respond to this.”

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