NEWTON, Mass. – With 13 hits en route to an 11-5 victory in their opening game, Mount Ida College secured a split against Norwich University in Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) softball action on Saturday afternoon at Alumni Field.
Mount Ida is now 5-17 overall and 5-8 in the GNAC after the Cadets came from behind in game two and held on for a 5-4 victory in the nightcap, moving Norwich to 5-15 (3-9 GNAC).
Game One: Mount Ida 11, Norwich 5
Five players for the Mustangs had multi-hit games, including right fielder Shannon McArthur (Coventry, R.I.), who went 2-4 with two runs batted in and a run scored.
She was one of three Mount Ida players to swat doubles in the game and her RBI single up the middle was part of a five-run first inning that put the home team in the driver seat.
That frame included five walks taken by Mount Ida batters, including two bases loaded RBI walks, by Sam Laferriere (Tewksbury, Mass.) and Hayley Microulis (Pawtucket, R.I.), and two wild pitches which led to runs.
Sophomore Kaitlyn Muhlenforth (Bohemia, N.Y.) scored an additional run on a wild pitch in the second inning to extend the lead to 6-0, as the Mustangs got to junior Taylor Morris (Haverhill, N.H.) for eight runs over 2+ innings.
The Cadets got on the board when sophomore Jordan Day (Andover, Mass.) led off the bottom of the third with a single and came around on a throwing error. They would add another unearned run in the bottom of the fifth and two more runs on a big fly by Kassy Kazimierczak (Adams, Mass.).
Mount Ida tacked on a pair of runs in the top of the seventh to secure the victory, thanks to an RBI single by Muhlenforth and a sacrifice fly by Emma Morton (Winchester, Mass.).
Sophomore Nicole Handzel (Palmer, Mass.) improved to 3-0 on the season with four innings of four-hit ball, allowing just one unearned run and striking out four.
Morris dropped to 2-7 on the season after issuing seven walks and five hits with one strikeout.
Game Two: Norwich 5, Mount Ida 4
The Mustangs took the lead in the top of the third, only to fall behind in the bottom of the frame when Norwich plated four runs.
Minicucci put the hosts on the board with a two run single down the right field line which scored Morton and Muhlenforth.
The Cadets got their four runs quickly, snagging two of them on a double to left center by Sarah Perry (New Bedford, Mass.) and two more on a towering home run to left field by the next batter, shortstop Melissa Rome (Enfield, Conn.).
Mount Ida, who got two more hits from McArthur and two from Morton and Lucianna Medici (Riverside, R.I.), cut the deficit to one in the top of the fifth on a fielder's choice by Microulis which scored Muhlenforth.
Microulis pitched the final three innings, allowing just one run in relief of Muhlenforth, who took the loss after giving up three earned runs in three innings but not issuing a walk and striking out a batter.
Rome scored center fielder Payton Warner (Harwich, Mass.) with a sacrifice fly to center field in the bottom of the sixth inning, an important insurance run that helped the Cadets hold on for the victory when a Mount Ida rally in the seventh that included a McArthur double that scored Minicucci, came up just short.
Norwich got a complete game victory from senior Corinne Baita (Rochester, N.H.), who improved to 2-6 with seven innings of nine-hit, three-earned run softball.
Mount Ida continues their conference slate on Sunday when they travel to Standish, Maine for an 11:00 AM doubleheader with Saint Joseph's College.
The Cadets stay on the road tomorrow with a 12:00 pm doubleheader against Rivier.