Towson takes series in New York
By Jordan Kendall, Assistant Sports Editor
Photo by Brendan Felch/ The Towerlight
The Tigers spent Easter weekend on the road and celebrated with a series victory over the Hofstra Pride at Bill Edwards Stadium in Hempstead, New York.
Going for the series victory, the Tigers (23-23, 6-9 CAA) got off to a rough start as a wild pitch for ball four walked the Hofstra (19-23, 6-9 CAA) batter and allowed the runner from third to score.
A sacrifice fly in the third added to the Pride’s lead, bringing home a run. A base hit later in the inning brought home the runner from third giving Hofstra a 3-0 lead.
In the fourth inning, an infield fly by junior utility Jessica Swistock brought in a run on a fielding error. Freshman pitcher Sara Johnson followed with a base hit to right field, picking up an RBI as Towson cut the Pride’s lead to 3-2.
The Tigers tied the game in the fifth as junior pitcher Julia Smith-Harrington hit a double to center field, allowing the runner to score. After two scoreless innings, the game went into extras and the Tigers broke the tie with an RBI single from Johnson.
This ended up being the winning run as Hofstra could only get one base hit in the bottom of the eighth. Towson won the game despite never leading until the eighth inning.
“We were never out of the game and we were always within striking distance,” said Head Coach Lisa Costello. “We were putting together good at bats.”
In the second game of Sunday’s doubleheader, the Tigers fell behind early as Hofstra struck first. Towson responded with a 12 unanswered runs from the second to fifth innings to take a commanding 12-1 lead.
The first home run of the game came in the bottom of the fifth from Hofstra on a three-run shot to left field. The Pride added another run in the inning to trim to deficit to 12-5.
Hofstra hit another three-run home run, this one in the seventh inning, to climb to within four runs. Sophomore pitcher Melissa Abrahamian (5-6) was able to stop the bleeding to earn the complete game win.
Swistock led the Tigers with four RBIs while Stockinger and Wilson each drove in two RBIs.
In Saturday’s series opener, the Pride put together a late rally to win 9-8. Towson scored first as Stockinger hit a two-run home run down the right field line to get the game started.
Hofstra responded with an RBI double to end the first inning. Towson added to their lead the following inning as Wilson hit an RBI double.
Hofstra added three runs in the second inning to take a 4-3 lead.
After falling behind, the Tigers responded as five different hitters drove in a run to give Towson an 8-4 lead.
The Pride cut the Tigers’ lead to one run heading into the seventh inning.
After Towson failed to score, Hofstra took advantage by scoring on a bases-loaded walk and walk-off single to win the game.
Each team had 11 hits; however, four Tiger errors proved costly. Johnson (10-8) took the loss on the mound, allowing ten hits and six runs through six innings.
Looking to finish out their eight-game homestand strong, the Tigers hosted Villanova for a doubleheader Wednesday. After taking game one, where the only runs scored were from a home run by each team, Towson fell in game two to split the series.
In the second game of the day, Smith-Harrington hit a home run in the bottom of the first to give the Tigers a 2-1 lead.
“[Smith-Harrington’s] been solid all year, she’s hitting the ball well and is a very good offensive player,” Costello said.
The two-run blast was Smith-Harrington’s second of the day and brought her season total to seven.
After three scoreless innings, the Wildcats (24-20, 7-5 Big East) scored two runs in the fifth to take a 3-2 lead.
The Tigers were unable to bring across any more runs, mustering only two hits in the last three innings.
Abrahamian took the loss on the mound allowing six hits and three runs while collecting four strikeouts. Redshirt junior pitcher Ashley Cruise pitched two innings of shutout relief to keep the game close.
In game one, Towson got out to a fast start as Smith-Harrington hit a two-run home run to take a 2-0 lead. The Tigers had three of their six hits in the first inning, but were shutout the remainder of the game after the home run.
Johnson held the Wildcats to two hits through the first six innings while striking out five.
Villanova hit a home run in the seventh for their only run of the game and followed it with a base hit to put the tying run on base. The Tigers retired the next two batters to take game one 2-1.
Johnson pitched another complete game, allowing four hits and one run.
“[Johnson] kept her pitch count down and did a good job of getting strikes,” Costello said.
The Tigers travel to Elon for their final road trip of the season this weekend.
“We are worried about getting ready for Elon and hope to build off of what we’ve done,” Costello said.
Game one of the three-game series is Saturday, April 27 at 1 p.m. at Hunt Softball Park in Elon, North Carolina.