"Schell Game" Nets Softball Win in Opener; Nightcap Ends in Tie

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Devon Barber
Barber stole third base in both games and now has 61 steals in her career.
After scoring only three runs in its doubleheader split at Haverford on Tuesday, the Muhlenberg softball team took the field against Lehigh Valley rival DeSales with a different lineup: Sophomore Alyssa Schell, who had been batting sixth, flipped spots with senior leadoff hitter Devon Barber.

Naturally, in the first game of the doubleheader, it was Schell who drove in the big runs and Barber who manufactured the go-ahead score as the Mules overcame an early 2-0 deficit for a 5-4 win. Muhlenberg came back from a 4-0 hole to tie the second game, which was called due to darkness with the score tied 6-6 after nine innings.

DeSales (9-6-1) scored two runs on three hits in the top of the first in the opener. Senior Angie Sisco settled down, however, and allowed only five hits and no earned runs the rest of the way in earning her 20th career win.

The Mules (16-5-1) tied the score in the bottom of the second on a two-out, two-run double by Schell – her second two-bagger of the game. In the fourth, Barber led off with a single, was sacrificed to second, stole third and came in to score on a wild pitch, giving Muhlenberg its first lead at 3-2.

Muhlenberg extended its lead to two on a double steal in the fifth, then made it 5-2 on Schell’s two-out RBI single in the sixth.

Heather Porrini
Porrini pitched all nine innings of the nightcap without allowing an earned run.
That proved to be an important run, as the Bulldogs took advantage of two Mule errors to score two runs and put the tying run on third with one out in the seventh. But Sisco got a ground ball and a fly ball to end the game.

DeSales plated four unearned runs in the top of the first in the nightcap, and Muhlenberg spent the entire game trying to catch up.

Down 5-3 heading into the bottom of the seventh, the Mules quickly put the tying runs in scoring position on a leadoff single by junior Kelly Kline and a double to the corner in left by freshman Brittany Dzieciolowski. Two productive outs – a groundout by junior Erica Wenzel and a sacrifice fly by Barber – sent the game into extra innings.

Each team scored in the eighth, with Muhlenberg’s run coming in on a two-out error. The Mules loaded the bases with one out in the bottom of the ninth but could not push the winning run across.

Muhlenberg’s defense, which did not distinguish itself for most of the second game, came up with some big plays in the extra innings. Freshman shortstop Alexis Giovinazzo made a nice backhanded pick of a short hop to save a run in the eighth. In the ninth, sophomore pitcher Heather Porrini leaped to catch a soft line drive for the first out. Then, with the go-ahead run on third and two out, she stopped a hard ground ball up the middle that knocked her down and threw out the batter while seated, preserving the tie.

The tie was only the second in Muhlenberg softball history, with the other one coming in 1987. The Mules remain undefeated (4-0-1) in extra inning games this season.
Click here for line scores.
Click for complete stats: Game 1 | Game 2