Hamilton softball deals Loras first loss in 10 games

Ursula Castiblanco '19 (Josh McKee photo)
Ursula Castiblanco '19 (Josh McKee photo)

The Hamilton College softball team split a pair of non-conference games against Iowa schools at the Osceola County Sports Complex in Kissimmee, Fla., on Sunday.

The Continentals (4-7 overall) rallied for a 5-4 victory against Loras College and handed the Duhawks their first loss. Loras (9-1) had set a program record by starting the year with nine straight wins. Hamilton dropped a 5-0 decision against nationally ranked No. 4 Luther College in the Continentals' first game of the morning.

In the win against the Duhawks, Ursula Castiblanco '19 and Hannah Staab '17 posted two hits and two runs batted in apiece. Castiblanco whacked a pair of doubles. Zoe Singer '18 evened her record at 2-2 with two innings of scoreless relief. Singer allowed one hit and walked two batters. Desmen DePaulis '19 started in the circle and allowed two earned runs on nine hits in five innings.

Both teams had two big innings in this back-and-forth contest. Hamilton grabbed a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning on three hits. Liz Brautigam '19 singled and Kendall Searcy '20 smacked a double before Staab drove them in with a two-out single to right field.

Loras tied the score with two runs in the top of the third inning. Ashley Lentine led off with a single and eventually came around to score on an infield throwing error with two outs. Lauren Fritz plated Dani Stromert, who had reached base on that error, with the tying run on a single to right-center field. Fritz finished with three hits and Stromert had two.

The Duhawks took a 4-2 lead with two more two-out runs in the fifth inning. Shannon Coyle singled to right and Stromert sent a base hit through the right side before Fritz brought them both in with a double to center field.

The Continentals took the lead for good with a three-run sixth. Ashleah Yzaguirre '19 led off with a pinch-hit double to right center and advanced to third base on Staab's single through the right side. With one out, Castiblanco tied the score with a double to left-center field that drove in Yzaguirre and Staab. Hamilton loaded the bases on a hit batter and a walk, and Castiblanco scored the go-ahead run on a wild pitch with two outs.

In the top of the seventh, Bria Lenten drew a one-out walk but was erased on a fielder's choice ground ball to Singer. Singer recorded the final out on another ground ball to herself.

Against Luther (7-2), the Continentals managed singles by Brautigam, Caitlin Berreitter '20 and Daphne Assimakopoulos '17. Singer started in the circle and took the loss after allowing two runs on three hits in two innings.

Luther received two hits and three runs batted in from Bailey Hocker and Anna Strien went 3-for-3 at the plate. Samantha Bratland tossed a three-hit shutout with three walks and seven strikeouts.

The Norse took a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the second inning. Megan Bonnett led off with a double to center and scored on a single up the middle by Hocker. Hocker eventually crossed home plate on a ground ball to shortstop by Sammie Harris.

Luther pushed its advantage to three runs in the third after Natalie Stockman led off with a walk and eventually went to third on a Strien single and a wild pitch. Stockman scored on a ground ball to short. The Norse clinched the win on Hocker's two-run single to left center in the sixth inning.

Hamilton's best chance to score came in the top of the second when Assimakopoulos led off with a single up the middle and Staab walked. Bratland shut down the rally by retiring the next three batters in order.

After a day off the Continentals return to the field on Tuesday, March 21 for two more non-conference games at Legends Way Field in Clermont, Fla. Hamilton plays Thomas College at 2 p.m. and the University of Southern Maine at 4:30.