April 18, 2012
SYRACUSE, N.Y.—Pitcher Savannah King improved to second overall in single-season strike outs, however, the University of Pittsburgh softball team slipped 4-1 in game two of Wednesday’s doubleheader against Syracuse at SU Softball Stadium.
King (16-14) tossed her 21st complete game of the year, allowing six hits and walking just one. She collected six strikeouts, totaling 11 on the day. King is now second in single-season strikeouts with 157 in her rookie season. She trails Nikki Gasti, who holds the school record with 213.
The Panthers (23-21, 6-10) were trailing 2-0 in the fifth inning, when the score was cut to 2-1 when senior Kristen Cheesebrew scored her 17th run of the season. It all began after Cheesebrew accepted a lead-off walk in the frame. Cheesebrew and advanced to second with a groundball from senior Yvette Bravo. She would then round the bases on a throwing error by the Orange’s left fielder during senior Ciera Damon's at-bat.
Later, Pitt had two runners in scoring position in the seventh following a single and a double from Damon and freshman Nikki Caruso, respectively. That double was the first of the year for Caruso and the 32nd overall for the Panthers.
In the sixth, senior Kelly Hmiel tallied a one-out single up the middle. She would later steal her team-leading 11th base of the season before being left stranded.
Defensively, the Panthers (23-20, 6-9 Big East) turned their eighth double play of the season in the first inning when senior Niki Cognigni scooped up a groundball and tapped second before firing the ball to Damon at first. King struck out the next batter to end the frame.
Syracuse scored two runs off three hits in the second inning. The Panthers prevented further damage when Cheesebrew fielded a routine ground ball for the third out, which stranded two runners on base. The Orange extended their lead to 4-1 with two more runs in the bottom of the sixth.
The Panthers resume action on Saturday, April 21, hosting Connecticut in a noon doubleheader at Vartabedian Field at the Petersen Sports Complex.