@BonniesSoftball opens conference play with two losses at La Salle

PHILADELPHIA ― The St. Bonaventure softball team (3-18) opened Atlantic 10 Conference play with two losses in a doubleheader Sunday afternoon (March 23) against the La Salle Explorers (8-8) 8-1 and 9-7 at West Campus Field.


After St. Bonaventure left fielder Emily Belfield drove in center fielder Ashley Snider for the game's first run in the top of the second inning, La Salle responded by scoring eight unanswered runs. In the bottom of the second, center fielder Megan Hodgson scored after first baseman Erica Reis reached first on an error committed by Bonnies third baseman Grace Rooney. The Explorers took the lead in the bottom of the third after shortstop Michelle Hagarty scored on a Hodgson ground out to second.


In the bottom of the fourth, Reis homered to center field, bringing home pitcher Alicia Aughton. Later in the inning, second baseman Emily Moran hit a solo home run to right center field.


The Explorers concluded their scoring in the game with three runs in the bottom of the fifth after pinch runners Danielle Cullen and Tori Gollie scored on wild pitches and Aughton scored on sacrifice fly by Reis.


Snider picked up two hits in the contest for the Brown and White. Reis recorded three RBI for the Explorers. Both teams recorded five hits and committed an error in the game. The Bonnies left seven runners on base.


St. Bonaventure starting pitcher Kristen Hickling allowed four hits, eight runs (seven unearned) and seven walks in four and one-third of an inning. Julia Pratt allowed a hit and a walk in an inning and two-thirds of work. Aughton recorded three strikeouts and allowed an earned run and two walks in a complete game on the mound for the Explorers.


In the second game, La Salle third baseman Christina Bascara opened the scoring with an RBI double to left field that brought Hagarty home in the bottom of the first.


The Bonnies took the lead in the top of the second on a three-run home run by Belfield that drove in second baseman Desiree Gonzalez and designated player Christine Watson. In the bottom of the second, Aughton hit a solo home run to right field.


In the top of the third, St. Bonaventure right fielder Kelli Rohan scored on a sacrifice fly hit by Rooney. La Salle responded with four runs in the bottom of the inning on a three-run home run by Hodgson that brought Bascara and Cullen home and on a single by Reis that drove in right fielder Suzanne Swanicke.


The Explorers added to their lead in the bottom of the fourth on a solo home run by Moran and on a single hit by Reis that allowed pinch runner Marisa Kinneer to score. Bascara hit a solo home run in the bottom of the fifth, giving La Salle a 9-4 lead.


Despite Rohan and pinch runner Victoria Brown scoring on a double hit by shortstop Emily McDonough and McDonough scoring on a sacrifice fly by Rooney, a top of the seventh rally by the Brown and White fell short.

McDonough recorded three hits in the contest for St. Bonaventure. Aughton and Bascara each recorded three hits for La Salle.


St. Bonaventure starting pitcher Alexis Sloat pitched a complete game and allowed four walks, nine earned runs and 13 hits with a strikeout. La Salle starter Mary Cate Scott also pitched a complete game and allowed seven runs (six unearned) and nine hits while recording four strikeouts.


The Bonnies are scheduled to return to action Saturday (March 29) when they face A-10 rival George Mason for a doubleheader beginning at noon from the George Mason Softball Complex.