CLERMONT, Fla. – The Mount Ida College softball team came just inches away from coming away with a third straight doubleheader split on Wednesday afternoon, but weren't able to get the breaks they needed in a 2-1 loss to Drew University, as the Mustangs dropped their final two games at The Spring Games at Hancock Park.
Earlier in the day, Mount Ida dropped a 9-1 decision in six innings to Alfred University and end their spring break trip with a 3-5 record.
Game Two: Drew 2, Mount Ida 1
In a game that took just one hour and seventeen minutes, a great pitching duel ensued between Mount Ida senior Nicole Handzel (Palmer, Mass.) and Rangers senior Emma Agostini (Centereach, N.Y.).
Each pitcher hurled a complete game with Handzel taking a tough luck loss after allowing just four hits and one earned run, without walking a batter and striking out two.
Though Mount Ida went without making an error for the first time this year, Drew's unearned run was helped by a passed ball. Shortstop Meghan McGuire (Stockton, N.J.) singled to lead off the top of the sixth and moved to second on the passed ball before advancing on a bunt single and scoring on a sacrifice fly by left fielder Brooke Adams (Cedar Grove, N.J.).
The Mustangs had the tying run at third base in the seventh when Kelsey Weston (Hampstead, N.H.) hit a pinch hit single, and Alexis Boswell (Amesbury, Mass.) and got to third with just one out, but Agostini induced a ground out and a fly out to end the game.
Mount Ida got their noses in front in the top of the first, when Alisa Benson (Middletown, R.I.) led off with a single and went to second on a throwing error by Agostini. Benson then stole third and scored when that throw got away up the third base line.
Drew (2-4) answered right back in the top of the second with a two-out single up the middle by Bethany Budner (Hazlet, N.J.) to score Lauren Mastropierro (Randolph, N.J.), who had led off with a single.
Agostini got her first win of the year, improving to 1-2 after allowing just one unearned run on five hits and three walks, with three strikeouts.
Game One: Alfred 9, Mount Ida 1, 6 innings
Handzel took her first loss of the year in the early game, despite Mount Ida taking a 1-0 lead in the top of the first on an RBI single by Emma Morton (Winchester, Mass.).
The Saxons scored nine unanswered runs from there, scoring once in the second and three times in the third to seize control of the game.
Center fielder Hannah Lawrence (Spencer, N.Y.) was 3-3 with three runs scored from the bottom of the lineup, and left fielder Amanda Shaffer (Sandyston, N.J.) went 2-4 with two RBIs and a run scored.
Alfred pitcher Shannon Schaefer (Westfield, N.J.) tossed a six inning complete game with eight strikeouts and just one run allowed to improve to 2-1 on the year. Schaefer helped her own cause with a two run single to right center to cap the three-run third inning.
Shortstop Haley Powers (Newark, Del.) singled two runs home with the bases loaded in the sixth and Shaffer's bunt single scored right fielder Brooke Hockeborn (Horseheads, N.Y.) for the second time to end the game with Alfred up by eight runs in their home half of the inning.
Handzel allowed seven earned runs on eleven hits in five innings pitched. Offensively, Morton, Hayley Microulis (Pawtucket, R.I.) and Weston each had a pair of hits.
Mount Ida returns home on Friday and will have a week off before their home opener on March 18th, a non-conference double-header against Eastern Nazarene.