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Iagnemma tosses 2nd no-hitter in 2 weeks

Sophomore earns 2 wins, save, 100th strikeout during 4-0 River States Conference weekend

Photo by Sam Robinson | Point Park Athletics
Sophomore Ashley Iagnemma winds up to deliver a pitch against Cincinnati Christian Saturday in her no-hitter. The Pioneers won 6-0.

Written By Josh Croup, Co-Sports Editor

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It was business as usual for Ashley Iagnemma in the pitcher’s circle this weekend.

She retired hitter after hitter in the Cincinnati Christian lineup Saturday and picked up six strikeouts along the way. Her offense supported her with six runs and she took the mound in the seventh inning with a comfortable lead.

With two outs, Morgan Grose hit a fly ball to Point Park left fielder Shannon Davis for the final out of the game, giving Iagnemma her seventh win of the season. But this win will stand out above the rest for the sophomore when all is said and done.

It was a no-hitter.

The reigning conference newcomer of the year didn’t realize her accomplishment until after the game when the announcement was made over the public address system.

“I don’t think about it when I’m pitching,” Iagnemma said. “I just do my thing.”

But she wasn’t done dominating bats from Ohio. Iagnemma took to the pitcher’s circle again Sunday to start game one of a doubleheader against Ohio Christian.

She went five innings in game one Sunday, giving up just two hits and striking out six more. The first Ohio Christian hit came in the fourth inning, ending a streak of 13 consecutive hitless innings for Iagnemma.

She still wasn’t done.

After sophomore transfer Tiffany Edwards pitched six scoreless innings in game two, Iagnemma came in to preserve a 1-0 lead in the seventh inning.

She struck out the side to earn her first career save and help Point Park improve to 8-2 in the River States Conference (RSC). She also picked up her 100th strikeout of the season Sunday.

Iagnemma also threw an abbreviated no-hitter against Waynesburg on March 28 that ended with a Point Park 8-0 win after five innings due to the mercy rule.

Jess Beitler caught both of Iagnemma’s starts and has enjoyed catching the dominant pitching staff Point Park has fielded all season.

“It’s great,” Beitler said. “It makes me have to do less work.”

Beitler hit two home runs and drove in five runs in game two Saturday against Cincinnati Christian in Point Park’s 17-1 win over the Eagles. Shortstop Becca Babincak scored four times and was 4-4 with one RBI.

That win followed the 6-0 win in Iagnemma’s no-hitter, which featured home runs from Chelsea Rogel and Kim Corcoran.

The power carried over to game two, as the two hit two of the team’s six home runs in the second game of the doubleheader. Alyssa McMurtrie hit a solo shot in the third inning and Lily Pruneda hit a grand slam in the fourth to give the Pioneers eight home runs total Saturday.

They entered the weekend with five home runs all season through 25 games.

“Hitting is contagious,” Corcoran said. “Once one started hitting, we all started hitting. Everyone wanted home runs.”

The bats were, for the most part, silent Sunday against Ohio Christian. A three-run fourth inning that started with a Corcoran walk gave Point Park enough for the 4-2 victory.

Corcoran also drove in Pruneda for the lone run of game two in the third inning for her eighth RBI of the weekend. The Pioneers were previously 1-11 when scoring fewer than four runs. They are 15-1 when scoring four or more runs.

“I think we got a little tired,” Head Coach Michelle Coultas said Sunday. “We didn’t have the focus that we did yesterday.”

The Point Park pitching staff of Iagnemma, Edwards and reliever Katie Tarr held batters to a .155 average on the weekend and allowed just three runs in four games, striking out 21 and walking nine. Point Park did not issue a walk in the second game of both days. Edwards notched her fifth and six wins of the season and lowered her ERA to 1.90.

“We have a great pitching staff that works hard and all want to work together,” Coultas said.

Point Park plays a non-conference doubleheader next Tuesday at NCAA Divison II Slippery Rock University before resuming RSC play at home next weekend against undefeated Rio Grande and the 7-5 West Virginia Tech Golden Bears.

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