ST. BONAVENTURE, N.Y. – The St. Bonaventure University softball team split a doubleheader Wednesday against Little Three rival Niagara at Joyce Field.
The Bonnies also knocked a season-high 15 hits in game one, including the first-career multi-hit game for Olivia Golay who went 3-for-3.
Gonzalez continued her powerful hitting into game two with her second two-run home run of the day, putting the Bonnies up 2-0 early.
Game one: St. Bonaventure 12, Niagara 8 | Box Score (PDF)
The Bonnies jumped out to a hot start to the day's action as they put up a four-spot on the scoreboard in the first inning.
With the bases loaded, Alissa Karjel launched a high fly ball to shallow center field that the Niagara center fielder was unable to corral on a dive to bring home Gonzalez. Then, Olivia Golay singled home Piergustavo and Elizabeth Enovitch. On an attempt to toss out Golay at first, a mishandle by the first baseman allowed Karjel to score from third and put the Bonnies up, 4-0.
After Niagara plated a pair to cut the Bona lead in half in the top of the third, the Bonnies responded with six hits and another four-spot in the bottom of the third to take an 8-2 lead.
Niagara got all four runs back in the top of the fourth as the Purple Eagles capitalized on a Bona defensive error that would have taken the Bonnies out of the frame unscathed.
Piergustavo delivered her sixth big fly of the season in the bottom of the fifth on a solo shot that put the Bonnies ahead, 9-6.
Niagara rallied and cut into the 12-6 deficit in the seventh. The Purple Eagles strung together three hits for two runs, but with two down and two runners on, Kristen Hickling induced a game-ending groundout to Blencowe at shortstop to secure the 12-8 Bona win.
In her first-career start in the circle at Joyce Field, Sam Wood went 6.2 innings with a strikeout before being relieved by Hickling for the final out.
Golay led the way with three of the Bonnies' 15 hits, while Gonzalez, Enovitch, Piergustavo, Karjel and Holtz all had two-hit games. Antonacci and Blencowe had a hit apiece.
The Bonnies' 12 runs and 15 hits are the most the program has earned in a single game since they did so on April 29, 2015 at Youngstown State in which they knocked 13 runs and 17 hits.
Holtz's RBI double served as her first two-base hit of her young career with the Brown and White.
Game two: Niagara 5, St. Bonaventure 2 | Box Score (PDF)
The lone Bona runs came on a Gonzalez's second two-run homer of the day, which also sent home Brittany Fair in the second inning.
Down 2-0, the Purple Eagles rallied for three runs in the top of the fourth, and a pair in the fifth to go up, 5-2.
The Bonnies had a chance to cut into the deficit in the seventh, as Gonzalez was hit by a pitch to lead off the frame. Enovitch then singled, putting two runners on with no out. Later in the frame with Blencowe on second and Enovitch on third with two down, Karjel came up representing the tying run. But, Niagara's Sierra Bertrand got the best of a 3-2 count as Karjel went down swinging to end the game.
Rylee Hehir started and tossed six innings in the circle while striking out a career-best six. Hickling made her second relief appearance of the day as she induced the final three outs.
Up next, the Bonnies will continue on their seven-game homestand as they welcome Saint Joseph's for a three-game Atlantic 10 series, starting with a doubleheader on Friday. First pitches are set for 1:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m.
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