MORRISTOWN, N.J. – Freshman third baseman Kelly Brown had three hits and drove in three runs to support junior pitcher Catherine Eber as Saint Elizabeth beat visiting Gallaudet 8-2 in the first game of a North Eastern Athletic Conference doubleheader on a sunny Saturday morning.
The Bison (7-27, 5-13 NEAC) won the second game, 11-1, to earn a split.
In the first game Saturday, moved up from its original start time due to rain forecasted for later in the afternoon, Saint Elizabeth had the offense rolling from the start with six runs on four hits in the first inning.
Junior centerfielder Noelle Grande walked to lead off the inning and moved to second on junior shortstop Kelly O’Dell’s bunt single. Brown drove in Grande with a single to right-center.
A perfectly placed Patricia Yagecic bunt loaded the bases and Rodriguez followed with an RBI single to right. Valerie Lasko drilled a single to left to score Yagecic for a 4-0 Saint Elizabeth lead. Lasko advanced to second on an error and stole third two pitches later. Eber helped her own cause, driving home Lasko on a ground out to shortstop.
Gallaudet struck for one run in the top of the second but the Screaming Eagles pushed the lead back six runs when O’Dell was hit by a pitch and swiped second base. Brown drove in O’Dell, her second RBI of the day, with a seeing-eye single through the right side.
In the fourth, the Screaming Eagles (6-28, 2-16 NEAC) tacked on its eight run in similar fashion. Grande reached a hard line drive to left field and stole second base. With two outs, Brown came through again. She hit hard ground ball through the left side and Grande cruised home for the 8-2 lead.
Grande leads the team with 35 runs scored (ranking top-five in the NEAC), 18 stolen bases and a .345 batting average. Grande is also tied Brown for the team lead with 29.
Eber (4-13) made the lead standup in one of her best pitching performance of the season. She threw all seven innings, allowing just two runs on 12 hits with one strikeout.
In the second game, Gallaudet struck first with three runs, including a homer by Easter Faafiti, in the first inning and added runs in each of the five innings.
The runs kept coming for the visitors as the balls that CSE made impressive defensive plays on in the first game, found open grass in the second.
Madellyn Rodriguez (1-7) suffered the loss for the Screaming Eagles. Lasko had two hits and scored once while Eber added a hit and an RBI.
The Screaming Eagles are scheduled to play Penn State-Berks on Sunday at 12 p.m. Heavy rain is expected in northern New Jersey – please check the website for any postponement information. Saint Elizabeth plays a pair of doubleheaders this week, hosting Mount Saint Vincent at 4 p.m. on Tuesday and Philadelphia Bible on Wednesday at 3 p.m.