RIVERSIDE, NC – The Iona College softball program split its opening day of the UC Riverside Tournament. It took down a power five school to open the afternoon's action but fell in a pitchers duel in the day's finale against Weber State.
GAME ONE: Iona 8, Maryland 4
The Gaels kicked off the Riverside Tournament with an 8-4 win over Big-10 member Maryland. Sophomore Marisa Gergel and senior Kristen Turner combined for six hits, three runs and two runs batted in. Sophomore Alana Evans went the first 6.1 innings allowing four runs on nine hits until junior Jessica Harkness came in to secure the win with the final two outs.
Iona got on board in the first inning when the Maroon & Gold’s all-time homerun leader went deep with her first homerun of the season. Her blast over the right field wall also scored senior shortstop Katie Newton.
The breakout inning for Iona was the second. Sophomore third basemen Kimberly Chiapparelli led the inning off with a walk. Eventually the Gaels got runners on first and second to set up senior leftfielder Ashlyn Morris who singled up the middle for the RBI. Gergel walked to load the bases to bring the three-and-four hitters, Newton and Turner, to the plate.
The captain middle-infielder singled to the opposite field to bring two across, and then the reigning MAAC Player of the Week reloaded the bases with her second hit. Junior catcher Tori Danner singled on the first pitch she saw to score Gergel and the Iona’s fifth run of the inning.
The Terrapins first run came in the third with red-shirt senior second basemen Juli Strange cross the plate after leading the frame off with a single. A second run came in the fourth via a sacrifice fly from freshman centerfielder Amanda Brashear.
The Gaels tacked on an additional run in the bottom of the sixth and then withstood a mini comeback in the seventh to earn its third straight win.
The top six batters of Maryland’s lineup recorded hits, but the three-through-six batters in the Iona lineup combined for seven runs batted in and five hits.
GAME TWO: Weber State 4, Iona 1
Junior Kirtlyn Bohling spun a gem for the Wildcats in the circle. She threw seven innings, allowing zero earned runs, five hits and just walking one. Seven Gaels fell prey to the strikeout.
Weber State got one run in the second inning and then spurted forward with three in the fourth inning on four hits. Freshman Marnie Skinner was on the rubber for the Maroon & Gold; she struck out five and walked only one but suffers the loss having allowed four runs on eight hits.
Iona had its best chance to strike in the bottom of the sixth inning. Morris and Gergel led the inning off with singles to set up Newton and Turner. The Maroon & Gold couldn’t convert immediately with Newton hitting a high chopper for a fielder’s choice and Turner popping out. The Gaels did cross the plate once courtesy of a throwing error by Bohling.
The Wildcats got two hits apiece from the top two batters in their order to lead the way; freshman Takesha Saltern and fellow rookie Landi Hawker.
Tomorrow the action continues at 12:00 PM EST against UT Martin.