The Rowan softball team split a pair of games against Swarthmore College on Tuesday, March 28. The No. 15 ranked Profs took down the Garnets 13-5 in five innings in game one, but came up short with a 4-3 loss in game two.
The Profs got on the board early in game one, putting up six runs between the first two innings. Korie Hague collected an RBI single to get the action started, which then prompted Breanna Bryant to draw a walk with the bases loaded. Gabby Fonollosa followed that up with a bases-loaded walk of her own, and an RBI single from Grace Shukitis capped off a four-run first for Rowan.
Rowan was able to tack on two more in the following frame after a sacrifice fly and a fielder’s choice.
Although Rowan had a 6-0 lead entering the third, a huge five-run inning from Swarthmore propelled them to a one-run game. A trifecta of singles and a double off of starting pitcher Rylee Lutz were four of the five hits Lutz surrendered in game one.
The scoring would end there for Swarthmore, but continued for Rowan, as they added one run in the bottom of the third on a ground out off the bat of Abigail Pawlowski to make it a 7-5 game.
Then, a six-run fifth inning motored the Profs to the run-rule victory. Pawlowski started the scoring after hitting a sacrifice fly, and then Liz McCaffery and Hague singled with runners on. Cami Morgan and Fonollosa drew walks with the bases loaded to collect a pair of RBIs, and then Shukitis singled with the bases loaded in the fifth to seal the deal for the Profs 13-5.
In the circle, Lutz collected four strikeouts while allowing five runs, five hits and seven walks over five innings of work en route to her ninth win of the year.
Head Coach Kim Wilson gave her insight on what she saw from her starter in game one.
“I thought she was throwing well actually in game one, I don’t think the walks equaled what she was throwing,” Wilson said.
In game two, the Profs jumped out to an early lead after McCaffery hit an RBI double, and Cat Thomas followed suit with a shot up the middle to drive in another run.
The Garnets tied the game 2-2 in the third after an RBI single from Avery McClure, who was the last batter that starter Marina Costello faced. Costello went three innings, gave up four hits, two runs, walked four and struck out one in her outing.
The Profs’ got the bats going again in the fourth inning after Payton MacNair dropped in a single to give Rowan a 3-2 lead.
Coach Wilson went to the bullpen from there and brought in Emily McCutcheon who went 2.1 innings, allowed six hits, but did not surrender a run.
With Rowan in the lead, but two runners on and just one out for Swarthmore in the sixth, Coach Wilson went to her ace Lutz, who came through for her manager. She grabbed a lineout and a popout to end the jam and hold the lead for the Profs.
Lutz went back out on the mound in the top of the seventh, the last chance for the Garnets to come back from a 3-2 deficit. Lutz struggled to start, surrendering a walk and a wild pitch which put the tying run on second for Swarthmore. She managed to collect a huge swing and a miss for a strikeout but then walked another batter to put two runners on. Swarthmore took advantage of the free passes, as Lutz surrendered a two-run double to give the Garnets a 4-3 lead.
Coach Wilson reflected on what she saw from Lutz in her second outing.
“She actually came in and did well, she gave up one hard hit,” Wilson said. “The truth is she gave up one hard hit down the line and unfortunately they scored two runs on it, but I also think she struck out the kid prior who wouldn’t even be on base, so it is what it is.”
Rowan had a chance to walk it off in the bottom of the seventh, with runners on first and second and just one out, however, they weren’t able to come across with any runs.
After putting up 13 runs on 12 hits in the first game, Rowan only put up five hits total and did not score in the final three frames of game two.
“In this last game we just didn’t see the ball,” Fonollosa said. “We were less selective and we didn’t get as many hits as we wanted to.”
MacNair collected three hits on the day, along with McCaffery who had three hits, scored three runs and drove in two between the two games. Hague also had two hits and three RBIs in game one, with Pawlowski and Shukitis adding two hits each.
Although Rowan dropped one of two, the team starts conference play this weekend, and Fonollosa believes that the team is just getting started.
“You’re going to have to see a lot more of us, we aren’t done yet,” Fonollosa said. “I’m really excited for the season.”
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