EAST BOSTON, Mass. - The Norwich University softball team split a Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) doubleheader with Suffolk University on Thursday afternoon.
Sophomore pitcher Rachel Johnson (Stockbridge, Vt.) continued her impressive league season, improving to 6-2 in GNAC play with a 2.07 earned run average after she struck out 10 and gave up just one run on two hits.
Johnson lifted the Cadets to a 5-1 victory in Game 1, but the Cadets dropped the second game 5-0 for their fifth conference series split of the season.
Norwich (7-16-1, 7-7 GNAC) got two RBIs each from Emily Oliver (Sagamore Hills, Ohio) and Justina George (Wallingford, Conn.) to lead the offense in Game 1. Olivia Bussiere (Northfield, Vt.) also chipped in with a RBI as well for the Cadets.
Suffolk (15-14, 7-6 GNAC) led 1-0 until the top of the fifth when Norwich rallied off four runs to take a 4-1 lead. NU added another in the top of the sixth for the 5-1 final. The Cadets outhit Suffolk 9-2 as Johnson outdueled Suffolk's ace Ali Yamakitis for the win to improve to 6-5 on the season.
Game 2 was a complete reversal as Suffolk out hit Norwich 10-2 and used a four-run third inning to take control. Naomi Rinaldo (Middlefield, Conn.) and Sarah Peyton (Eagle River, Alaska) each notched hits for the Cadets, but that was all the offense they could muster vs. Taylor Holmes.
Jill Pulek hit a two-run home run to lead the Suffolk offense.
Oliver took the loss for Norwich, giving up 10 hits and and two earned runs.
Norwich returns home to the NU Softball Field this weekend to close out its home regular season schedule vs. Emmanuel on Saturday at 1 p.m. and Saint Joseph's (Maine) on Sunday at 12 p.m. Both are pivotal GNAC doubleheaders against teams higher in the standings as the Cadets try and get a first round home playoff game.