COLLEGEVILLE, Pa. – The Ursinus College softball team received a pair of brilliant pitching performances in Thursday's doubleheader against Immaculata, but needed a last-gasp rally to salvage a tie in Game 2 after surrendering a 2-1 nail-biter in extra innings in the opener.
Junior Jennifer Hammons and freshman Kayla McTamney combined to allow just one earned run on the afternoon, but a few errors nearly left the Bears (12-12-1) with nothing to show for it. The home side was down to its last two outs in the seventh before coming back to tie the game on senior Gabrielle Manto's sacrifice fly. With darkness falling as the eighth inning was about to begin, the teams agreed to call the contest.
Game 1: Immaculata 2, Ursinus 1 (8)
Manto helped kick-start the scoring in the bottom of the second, doubling to the gap in left-center with two outs to set up sophomore Amanda Ladzinski's RBI single just out of the reach of the Mighty Macs' right fielder.
That was all the offense the home side was able to muster off Jessica Bormann, who helped her own cause by manufacturing her team's first run in the fifth. With two outs, she reached on an infield single and took second on a throwing error before moving to third on a passed ball and scoring the tying run on Ashley Rey's base hit back up the middle.
Starting with a runner on second due to international tiebreaker rules, Immaculata (17-7-1) scored the go-ahead run on a wild pitch and an RBI groundout.
The Bears hit the ball hard twice in the bottom of the eighth, but the Mighty Macs' right fielder made two nice catches on line drives by sophomores Heather Lazer and Morgan Comfort to ice the victory.
Hammons allowed a pair of unearned runs in 8.0 innings, conceding six hits and four walks. She struck out a season-high eight, including the side in the first inning.
Senior Sammi Donato finished 2-for-3 at the plate.
Game 2: Ursinus 2, Immaculata 2
McTamney and Immaculata's Emma Bischoff engaged in a thrilling duel in the nightcap, trading zeroes for five innings until each team scored once in the sixth and seventh.
An error allowed the Mighty Macs to take the lead in the sixth, but Ursinus countered with one of its own as Manto led off with a double – the 99th hit of her career – and scored on Lazer's two-out RBI single to right-center.
Immaculate went back in front in the seventh as Sarah Reed tripled and scored on a groundout, but the Bears refused to suffer a sweep. Ladzinski worked a walk to open the last half before moving up a base on senior Callie Crouse's sacrifice bunt and taking another on a wild pitch. After a walk to Donato, Manto lifted a fly ball deep enough into right field to score Ladzinski with the tying run and salvage a tie.
McTamney allowed two runs – one earned – on five hits in her complete-game gem, walking three and striking out two. She needed just 91 pitches to get through the contest.
Comfort was 2-for-2 with a walk at the dish.
The Bears have the weekend off before hosting Muhlenberg next Tuesday.