March 15, 2013
FAIRFAX, Va. - The University of Pittsburgh softball team (9-11) dropped a pair of games on the opening day of the Cherry Blossom Classic Friday afternoon, losing 10-5 to Canisius and falling 4-0 to Ohio State.
Game One: Canisius 10, Pitt 5
The Panthers committed five fielding errors as Pitt lost its opening game of the Cherry Blossom Classic to Canisius (9-4) by a score of 10-5.
Pitt jumped out to a 1-0 lead courtesy of a leadoff homer to right center by freshman Tori Nirschl. It was Nirschl's team-best fourth long ball of the season.
Starting pitcher Alexa Larkin recorded four strikeouts through the first two innings, but the Golden Griffins plated five runs in the bottom of the third inning to seize control of the game.
Meghan Cuda started the rally with a one out double to left field. Michelle DelPrince then followed that up with one of her two triples on the afternoon. She would then score as the next batter, Robin Kennery, laced a single to right field for a 2-1 Canisius advantage. The Golden Griffins continued to apply pressure, and it all, sent 10 batters to the plate and scored their five runs on seven hits.
Canisius scored two more runs in the bottom of the fourth inning to go ahead 7-1, but the Panthers responded with two runs in the fifth inning. After Nirschl was issued her second walk of the game, Ashlee Sills singled to center, and then Holly Stevens drove both of them home as she hit a rope that ricocheted off the third baseman and into the outfield.
Canisius however, scored three more runs in the home half of the fifth inning to go up 10-3. Pitt committed three errors in the inning which allowed the first three Golden Griffin batters to score.
A Savannah King homer in the top of the sixth gave Pitt its fourth run of the game, and the Panthers crossed the plate one time in the seventh after Jordan Fannin doubled and scored two batters later on a sacrifice fly. However, the gap was too wide for the Panthers to close and Pitt ended up falling to Canisius 10-5.
Game Two: Ohio State 4, Pitt 0
The Panthers were unable to capitalize on a bases loaded opportunity in the sixth inning and ended up losing to Ohio State (14-8) by the score of 4-0 in their second game of the Cherry Blossom Classic.
Ohio State scored its first run in the bottom of the second inning on a bases loaded walk, and then plated three more run in the bottom of the third. The Buckeyes' first three batters of the third inning reached on consecutive hits and all three would come around to score.
In the top of the sixth, Nirschl singled up the middle to lead off the inning. Two batters later, Holly Stevens walked, and then Carissa Throckmorton was hit by a pitch to load the bases with one out. OSU pitcher Alex DiDomenico would then get Savanna King to strikeout and Taylor Henry to pop out which ended the inning.
Pinch hitter Lauren Vinson reached in the seventh on a fielding error, but would be it for the Panthers as OSU secured the 4-0 victory.
The Panthers are back in action tomorrow starting at 12:15 p.m. with a rematch against Canisius. Pitt will then play tournament host George Mason at 5:30 p.m. Click here for live stats.