ST. BONAVENTURE, N.Y. – The St. Bonaventure softball team (8-38, 4-16 Atlantic 10) swept the La Salle Explorers (15-29, 3-17) in a Sunday afternoon doubleheader that also served as senior day for the Brown and White.
In game one it would be Julia Pratt in the circle for the Bonnies. Pratt pitched nine innings yesterday in an extra-inning, 6-5, loss to Fordham. She limited the La Salle bats to just two runs over the first two innings in this one and would settle into a groove after that.
The Bonnies would pull within one when Lauren Waite singled home Katie Sinclair in the fourth. They would go on to load the bases but strand all three runners when Emily McDonough struck out looking to end the threat.
Pratt held down the Explorers in the fifth and turned things over to the Brown and White bats. Ashley Snider led off with a single. Jessenia Andujar sacrificed the runner to second. Then back-to-back walks loaded the bases once again. Emily Belfield then came up and belted a double into the gap, driving in two runs. Christine Watson would single home another run next and Waite would drive in the fourth run of the inning with a double.
Once again Pratt kept La Salle off the board in the sixth. Katie Sinclair pounded a two-out double in the bottom half of the inning that drove in two runs to give the Bonnies a 7-2 advantage.
The game would be in Pratt's hands in the seventh looking for her first victory of the season after a difficult 0-14 start. She allowed two hits but found three outs to secure the win. The victory snapped a six-game losing streak for the Brown and White.
McDonough, Sinclair, Watson and Waite all collected multiple hits in game one. Sinclair, Belfield and Waite all had multiple runs batted in. Pratt threw seven innings of seven hit ball, allowing two runs, walking one and striking out none.
Alexis Sloat would take the circle for St. Bonaventure in game two looking to complete a sweep of the Explorers and climb out of the cellar in the Atlantic 10.
Sloat would give up a run in the first but this time the St. Bona bats did not wait around to put runs up on the board. After a McDonough groundout to lead off, Snider singled down the right field line to start the rally. Andujar doubled to advance Snider to third. Grace Rooney would single home Snider to tie the score. Sinclair came up and grounded to the third baseman that threw home and beat Andujar to the plate for the second out. Belfield then came up and collected another RBI with a single. Waite made it a 4-4 day with another single, bringing up senior Jill Murphy with the bases loaded.
By starting game two of the doubleheader, Murphy was making just her 14th career appearance and third career start. She was 0-10 at the plate in her career leading up to that bases loaded at bat in the first. Murphy fought off pitch after pitch before driving a 3-2 fastball up the middle and past the glove of the diving shortstop for a two-RBI single, giving the Bonnies a 4-1 lead.
Belfield collected another RBI in the third to push the lead to 5-1. At this stage, Sloat was working rather quickly, surrendering just one hit over the second, third and fourth innings.
In the fifth, La Salle came alive to score two runs on two hits to make it a 5-3 St. Bonaventure advantage. Sloat struggled to find the zone as she walked one and saw fly ball after fly ball get hit hard towards the outfield.
In the sixth, after back-to-back hits, head coach Mike Threehouse turned the game over to the game one winner Julia Pratt to pick up the five-out save. Pratt worked her out of the sixth without surrendering another hit. She came back out in the seventh and allowed a lead-off single. After getting a pop-up, she would walk the tying run to first. After a fly out, Murphy snagged a screamer down the first base line and stepped on the bag for the final out of the game.
Sloat would get her third win of the season and Pratt picked up the first save of the year for the Brown and White. Only Emily Belfield and Jill Murphy collected multiple hits in game two. Murphy celebrated her senior game with a 2-3 effort while driving in a pair of runs, one of which went on to be the game winning run.
Hali Enderby, Andujar and Murphy were all honored after the games in a senior day ceremony.
The Bonnies will be back in action for the conclusion of their home schedule on Tuesday (Apr. 30) when they welcome Buffalo to McGraw-Jennings Field. The double header is slated to begin at 3 p.m.