The Shippensburg University softball team earned two more victories on a cloudy Wednesday at the NTC Games, extending its winning streak to 11 games by defeating University of Minnesota Duluth 2-1 in eight innings and New York Institute of Technology 5-0. The games were moved about two miles away to Hancock Park after an early morning rainstorm delayed the start of play by about 90 minutes.
SU (15-2) managed just three hits against UMD (15-6) but made them count. Junior Rachel Shumway hit an RBI-single in the fourth inning that gave SU the lead. The decisive run, however, came in the eighth inning on an error by the Bulldog first baseman.
Junior Emily Estep threw all eight innings against the Bulldogs, throwing 87 pitches and allowing one run on six hits. Estep walked just one and struck out two to improve her record to 6-2.
SU scored four runs in the first inning against NYIT (5-7) and earned its second victory in as many days against the Bears. Sophomore Liz Parkins threw her first career one-hitter, striking out seven to improve to 5-0.
The Raiders will be off on Thursday, returning to action Friday with a 3 p.m. re-match against UMD and a 5 p.m. matchup versus Merrimack University.
Game 1: SU 2, UMD 1 (F-8)
SU and UMD engaged in a pitcher’s duel – as Estep and Julia Nealer each allowed just one hit through the first three innings.
Shumway’s RBI-single in the fourth inning came with one out and scored sophomore Taylor Weisman, who led off with a walk. Weisman reached base all three times she came to the plate in the opener – drawing two walks and singling in the sixth.
Estep escaped a jam in the fourth inning, allowing two singles to lead off the frame but then inducing an infield fly, a fielder’s choice and a groundout. She was efficient throughout the game – getting three outs on five pitches in the fifth inning and three outs on four pitches in the seventh inning.
The only run against her came in the sixth inning. With a runner on second base and one out, cleanup batter Ashley Lewis sent a ball down the left-field line that appeared to brush up some chalk as it landed. It went for a RBI-double that tied the score at 1-1.
After a strikeout, Jordan Rice sent a single into center field on which sophomore Tyler Thompson came in, fielded, and gunned a throw toward home plate. The throw got there in enough time, junior catcher Kirstin McClune fielded it, and then survived a shoulder to the head from the oncoming Lewis to record the out at home.
To start the eighth inning, junior Hilary Lyons was placed on the base paths yet still on third base with two outs when Thompson sent a ball up the first-base line that as booted – giving SU the 2-1 lead.
In the bottom of the eighth, UMD did not advance the runner with a bunt – allowing Estep to induce a pop-up for the first out. A wild pitch put the base runner on third base, but Estep then got a foul-out and a fly out to end the game.
Game 2: SHIP 5, NYIT 0
SU scored four in the first to take control and rode the strong pitching of Parkins to victory. Senior Kiersten Darhower, who reached base in both games of the doubleheader, singled to lead off the game. Thompson sacrificed Darhower to second base but reached because the pitcher botched the throw to first base.
With one out, a double steal put the first run on the board. Sophomore Maddie Justice, who went 3-for-4 against NYIT, singled home Thompson. Sophomore Emmie Burke doubled into the right-center field gap, which led to both Burke and Justice coming home on a two-run single by freshman Taylor Llewellyn.
Justice singled home Darhower in the fourth for the only other run of the game.
Parkins allowed just one hit – a two-out single in the fourth inning, and struck out six through the first three innings of the game.
The late innings were not without some exciting moments, as freshman Courtney Kane made a sensational diving catch with one out in the seventh inning.