March 3, 2013
Kissimmee, Fla. -- The University of Pittsburgh softball team (9-6) defeated Fairfield (5-4) Sunday afternoon by a score of 5-3 with Savannah King delivering a powerful performance on the mound and Carissa Throckmorton and Kaila Balatgek each contributing with home runs.
The Panthers' win over the Stags extended their winning streak to four games. Since its 8-0 loss to No. 13 Louisiana-Lafayette, Pitt has outscored its opponents 34-10. They batted .358 as a team this weekend with a .405 on-base percentage and a .533 slugging percentage.
King (5-4, 3.27 ERA) picked up her fifth win of the season in a complete-game effort that included five strikeouts and just one walk, while Fairfield's Lauren Falkanger (0-2) picked up her second loss of the season.
The Stags put themselves on the board first when Lauren Liseth hit a ball to the left side scoring Mikayla Shumate from third base to make it a 1-0 game. Falkanger kept the Panthers hitless in back-to-back perfect outings to open up the game with her first allowed base runner of the game, Carly Thea, drawing a walk in the top of the third inning.
In the bottom of the third, Sammy Ruffolo and Shumate led off with consecutive singles and were moved into scoring position on a sacrifice bunt. Fairfield capitalized on the early opportunity with a two-RBI single up the middle by Lauren Filicia granting the Stags a 3-0 lead.
As Pitt entered the top of the fourth, Throckmorton put an end to Falkanger's no-hitter with a solo home run--her second in two days--to cut the deficit to a 3-1 score. Taylor Henry then singled down the left field line with King adding on with a single up the middle that put runners on both first and second. Balatgek followed by delivering a three-run home run to left field to take the lead, 4-3, knocking Falkanger out of the game.
The Panthers' insurance later came in the top of the fifth inning when Thea showed off tremendous hustle extending a base hit to left field into a double. Thea was plated by a Nirschl ball put in play, which was mishandled by Fairfield's second baseman and allowed the Panthers to move further ahead, 5-3.
The Stags did not go quietly, however, as they placed runners on first and second with one out to start the bottom of the seventh inning. King forced an infield groundball that resulted in Pitt getting the lead-runner at third for the second out. She then worked another groundball-out to end the game with Balatgek taking the unassisted force-out at second base to end the game.