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Strong Pitching Leads to Split Against Niagara

Strong Pitching Leads to Split Against Niagara

ST. BONAVENTURE, N.Y. – A strong pitching performance from Tierney Fitzgerald in game one led the St. Bonaventure University softball team to a 4-1 victory over the Niagara Purple Eagles Thursday at Joyce Field. 

Niagara scored two runs in the top of seventh to defeat the Bonnies, 6-4, in the second game of Thursday's non-conference doubleheader. 

GAME 1 – St. Bonaventure 4, Niagara 1 – Box Score (PDF) 
Freshman Tierney Fitzgerald earned the start for the Bonnies game oneearning the win and tossing her third complete game of her debut campaign. The Williston Park, N.Y. native allowed just one run on six hits and struck out three. 

A solo shot from Kelsey Harrigan to left-center put the Purple Eagles ahead 1-0 in the top of the first and was the only trouble Fitzgerald ran into all game. 

The Bonnies were quick to respond, however, when Brooke Kane-Walker singled home McKenna Holtz, making it a 1-1 game.  

Kane-Walker came through again in the bottom half of the third to give the Bonnies their first lead of the game on a sac fly, scoring Elizabeth Enovitch and giving the Brown and White a 2-1 advantage. Senior Alexandra Piergustavo extended the Bona lead to 4-1 with a two RBI single. 

The Bonnies had two chances to add insurance runs in the fourth with the bases loaded and in the fifth with a runner on third, but nothing came about, and the score remained 4-1 the rest of the way. 

Piergustavo and Enovitch had two hits apiece in the contest for the Bonnies.  

GAME 2 – Niagara 6, St. Bonaventure 4 – Box Score (PDF) 
Harrigan's clutch two-out, two RBI single broke a 4-4 deadlock in the top of the seventh inning, giving the Purple Eagles the 6-4 victory. 

The Purple Eagles got out to an early 1-0 lead once again in game two after Maggie Vesneske reached on an error, bringing home Harrigan. Niagara added two more runs in the top of the third on a two-run double from Jennifer Timm, making the Purple Eagle lead 3-0. 

It was not until the fourth inning when the Bonnies bats got going. Olivia Golay was struck by a pitch with the bases loaded, making it a 3-1 game. Next up was Alexandra Deal, who ripped a two-out single to left-center to bring in Kaitlin Caringi, cutting the Bona deficit to just one, 3-2.  

Timm's third RBI of the game came on a single up the middle in the top of the fifth, pushing the Purple Eagle lead back to two, 4-2. 

Kane-Walker's two-run double in the bottom of the sixth tied the game at 4-4, her third and fourth RBIs of the day.  

Freshman Ally Haskell got the ball in game two and earned a no-decision, working five innings and striking out a career-high seven batters along the way. Fellow freshman Alyssa Yungwirth entered in relief in the sixth inning and went the rest of the way, striking out one and allowing three hits.