Softball improves to 5-1 with DH sweep; O'Brien records 12 K's

Claire O’Brien ’21 (Josh McKee photo)
Claire O’Brien ’21 (Josh McKee photo)

Hamilton College won both of its non-conference games at Hancock Park in Clermont, Florida, on Monday afternoon. The Continentals posted a 9-6 win over Allegheny College in their first game and recorded a 7-6 come-from-behind victory against Lawrence University in Game 2.

Hamilton improves its overall record to 5-1 and is back in action on Wednesday, March 20 with two non-conference games. The Continentals will meet the University of Southern Maine at 9:45 a.m. and SUNY Cobleskill at 2 p.m. Both contests will be played at Legends Way in Clermont.

Game One: Hamilton 9, Allegheny 6

Caitlin Berreitter '20, Caroline Chivily '19 and Emily Fraser '20 each had two hits and scored two runs. Liz Brautigam '19 went 2-for-4 and Helen Lin '19 and Ashleah Yzaguirre '19 both hit doubles and drove in two runs apiece. Anna Rasmussen '22 added a pinch-hit double.

Morgan Hartranft '22 (2-1) picked up the win in 3.1 innings of work. Hartranft entered the game in the middle of the second inning and gave up two runs on four hits and three walks.

Allegheny (2-2) scored a single run in the first two innings and held a 2-0 lead heading into the top of the third. Hamilton tied the score with a single, passed ball, hit batter, walk and double. Berreitter got it started with a two-out single through the left side of the infield and she advanced to second on a passed ball. Chivily was struck by a pitch to put runners on first and second, and Fraser loaded the bases after she fouled off 10 pitches and eventually earned a free pass to first. Yzaguirre knocked a line-drive double to the fence in left field that scored Berreitter and Chivily.

Hamilton tacked on five more runs in the fourth inning for a 7-2 lead. The inning was highlighted by three doubles off the sticks of Brautigam, Rasmussen and Lin. Brautigam legged out a double to the gap in right center, Rasmussen roped a pinch-hit line drive over the head of the left fielder, and Lin blasted a line drive that bounced off the top of the fence in center field.

The Gators scored single runs in the fourth and fifth, but Hamilton took back its five-run lead with a two-run sixth inning. Allegheny rallied in the bottom of the seventh with two runs, but Dez DePaulis '19 forced two groundouts and one lineout to end the game.

Game Two: Hamilton 7, Lawrence 6

Lawrence (1-5) jumped out to a 6-1 lead after two innings before Hamilton's Claire O'Brien '21 (1-0) walked into the pitcher's circle and put on a show. The sophomore hurler pitched five shutout innings with 12 strikeouts and allowed just three hits and two walks. O'Brien's 12 strikeouts are the most in a single game by a Hamilton pitcher since March 18, 2012 when Kelly Leonard '15 struck out 13 in a 5-4 win against Hendrix College.

Berreitter guided the offense by going 3-for-4 with a double. Yzaguirre and Kendall Searcy '20 both added two hits and Yzaguirre doubled. Shelby McVey '22 finished 2-for-3 and Kiana Arcayena '22 went 1-for-2 with a walk.

The Continentals scored four runs in the fourth inning to get within 6-5. Yzaguirre hit the fence in left-center field to kick off the inning with a double, moved to third on a passed ball and scored on Searcy's single to center field. Searcy moved all the way to third base on a miscue by the center fielder. Lin scored Searcy with a single to right field, stole second base and advanced to third on some heads-up base running after the Lawrence catcher caught a foul ball. Arcayena walked, Lin scored on a McVey single and Arcayena scored on an error and a Berreitter single.

Hamilton took the lead in the bottom of the sixth inning. Berreitter hit a one-out single to right field and Dunn singled to second base. The duo pulled off a double steal and a poor throw from the catcher to third base allowed Berreitter to tie the score and for Dunn to move to third. Two batters later, Yzaguirre lined a run-scoring single back up the middle for the go-ahead run.

O'Brien struck out the first two batters in the top of the seventh before allowing a single down the right-field line. O'Brien forced a ground ball to first base for the final out and comeback win for the Continentals.