COLLEGEVILLE, Pa. – Kayla McTamney shut down one of the best offenses in Division III as the Ursinus College softball team nearly stunned No. 11 Moravian with a late explosion before the Greyhounds held on to salvage a split of Thursday's non-conference twin bill.
McTamney allowed just six hits in a 2-0 Game 1 victory, registering her first career shutout in a thoroughly dominant performance that she needed only 84 pitches to script.
Trailing 5-0 in Game 2, the Bears (15-13-1) scored four runs in the fifth and had major threats in each of the last two innings, but Moravian managed to hang on for a 5-4 victory.
Game 1: Ursinus 2, Moravian 0
The opener of Thursday's double feature was a quick-moving affair as both pitchers were locked in from the start. Only a handful of balls were hit in the air in a game that ended without an extra-base hit and a host of softly hit grounders on the infield.
The Bears broke the stalemate in the third, when senior Sammi Donato led off with an infield single. Freshman Mackenzie Brennan lashed a base hit into left-center, and sophomore Megan Hasulak advanced both runners with a well-executed sacrifice. Sophomore Morgan Comfort then skied a ball deep enough into center field to plate Donato with the game's first run.
McTamney got some help from her defense in the top of the fourth. Sophomore Heather Lazer made back-to-back sparkling plays with the glove to open the frame, ranging to her right to snag a grounder backhanded and throw out the runner at first before leaping to snare a rocket that appeared headed for the gap.
Ursinus tacked on an insurance run in the sixth, as seniors Kayla Quinn and Gabrielle Manto each snuck a base hit through the left side to put two on with no outs. After Moravian retired the next two hitters, senior Callie Crouse dropped a single just over the head of the third baseman and down the left-field line as Quinn dashed home with the second run.
The Greyhounds put a runner on second in the seventh, but McTamney got the leadoff batter to bounce out to shortstop to seal her impressive outing.
McTamney allowed six hits – all singles – in her first career shutout, striking out four without a walk. She needed just 84 pitches to cut through a Moravian lineup that came in hitting .392 as a team and averaging 8.3 runs per contest.
Crouse finished 2-for-3 with an RBI, and Brennan also went 2-for-3 from the leadoff spot.
Game 2: Moravian 5, Ursinus 4
The Greyhounds ended their drought with a pair of extra-base hits in the top of the first, leading to a quick 2-0 advantage.
Moravian added three more in the fifth and looked to have the game all but sewed up, especially considering starter Paige Lesher was carrying a perfect game through the first four frames. Quinn ended that right away with a leadoff double and came around to score on a single by freshman Ally St. Jean.
Crouse followed with a sacrifice fly, and Donato slicked a single into left-center to cut the margin to 5-3. Comfort nearly knotted the game with one swing, but her hard-hit blast slammed midway up the fence in left field to put runners on second and third. An infield hit by senior Faith Carson made it 5-4, but the Greyhounds got out of the inning with the lead intact.
Ursinus put runners on second and third with two outs in the sixth but came up empty, and Garritano popped out to short with the tying run on second in the seventh.
Carson finished 2-for-4 with a double and an RBI, while St. Jean made good contact in all three at-bats, driving in one run and scoring another.
After Comfort left to start the sixth, sophomore Gabby Ilyes worked two perfect innings in relief.
The Bears head to Washington College for a Centennial Conference doubleheader on Saturday.