NEW ROCHELLE, NY - The Iona College softball team returned to the friendly confines of Rice Oval Tuesday afternoon and delivered a pair of wins over Hartford in non-conference competition. In game one, Iona topped the Hawks 7-1 before winning game two 3-1.
The Gaels got on the board first in the bottom of the third. Junior Jodi Petersen singled up the middle, and after stealing second base, was singled in with two outs by senior Chelsea Sheehan to make it a 1-0 contest.
The Gaels struck again in the bottom of the fifth as junior Beth Kann connected on a home run over the left field wall to put Iona ahead 2-0.
Hartford's Amber Andrews reached base on an outfield error in the top of the sixth inning, and in the next play, Erica Phelps reached on another Iona error. Kate Wacyk drove in Andrews with the Hawks’ first run of the game on a base hit to center field to cut the Iona lead to one.
Iona responded in the bottom of the sixth. With one out, junior Eileen McCann jumped on the first pitch of her at bat and launched a home run to left center field.
The Gaels scratched four more runs in the sixth to move ahead, 7-1. The first run being scored when Petersen was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded. With the bases still loaded, Kann answered again for the Gaels and brought in the final three runs of the game on a double to to center.
Senior Sarah Jackson gave up just one hit to the Hawks in game one, allowing just three base runners through the first five innings of the game. She finished with 10 strikeouts on the afternoon. Siera Sheehan allowed 11 hits and seven runs in 5.2 innings for the Hawks.
In game two, the Gaels grabbed a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second. Senior Alyssa Maiese led off with an infield single and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by McCann. Maiese then scored the first run of the game on a sacrifice fly by freshman Brianna Schauer.
Hartford would be able to counter in the top of the fourth inning. Andrews led off with a double to left field, and with two outs, Jackie Kelly plated the game-tying run with a hit to left field.
Iona regained its lead in the bottom of the inning when freshman Argyle delivered an RBI single up the middle. The Gaels added an insurance run in the bottom of the sixth. With one out, senior Allyssa James ripped a single down the middle of the infield and two batters later, she crossed home on a base hit by Kann.
Maiese was dominant in the circle, allowing just one unearned run in seven innings of work, to go along with five strikeouts.
Iona has a week off before returning to the field next Tuesday, April 10, when they host Sacred Heart at Rice Oval.