April 14, 2013
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SOUTH ORANGE, N.J. – A five-run first inning highlighted by Carly Thea’s Grand Slam lifted the University of Pittsburgh softball team (16-22, 5-7) to an 8-7 victory against Seton Hall (14-21, 2-9) in the rubber game of a three-game series on Sunday afternoon at Mike Sheppard Sr. Field.
The Panthers took 2-of-3 from the Pirates, and all three games were decided by one run. Savannah King pitched her second complete game of the weekend and is now 2-2 in the Big East with a 2.53 ERA. Only two of the seven SHU runs this afternoon were earned.
Pitt opened the game on fire as they put up a five-spot in the first inning. Holly Stevens got Pitt on the board with an RBI double which scored Tori Nirschl, and then three batters later Carly Thea hit her first career Grand Slam to put Pitt in front 5-0.
Seton Hall got two runs back in the third inning on a home run by Sara Haefeli, but the Panthers responded with three runs on four hits in the fourth. Pitt sent nine batters to the plate in the inning, including a two-run double by Nirschl and an RBI single from Jordan Fannin which provided Pitt with an 8-2 advantage.
The Pirates continued to battle and closed the gap to 8-5 with a two-out, three run homer to center field by SHU’s second baseman Maria DeLuca in the bottom of the fifth.
After a scoreless sixth inning, Seton Hall plated two unearned runs in the bottom of the seventh inning to get within one at 8-7. After a throwing error scored SHU’s Yasmine Harrell, King got two groundouts (one of which was an RBI) to end the game and give Pitt an 8-7 victory.
Nirschl was the catalyst for the weekend as the freshman was 5-for-11 with two homers, five RBI, three doubles and five runs scored.
The Panthers have a quick turn-around as they travel to # 11/10 Louisville for a mid-week doubleheader on Wednesday afternoon and will then return home for a three game series with Notre Dame next weekend.