Softball: Cadets split GNAC DH with Univ. of St. Joseph

Katie Reid Softball vs. USJ (Mark Collier)

NORTHFIELD, Vt. – The Norwich University softball team picked up a split of a Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) doubleheader with the Univ. of St. Joseph (Conn.) on Saturday afternoon at the NU Softball Field. 

USJ (14-8, 7-3) took Game 1 with a 7-0 victory and then Norwich (5-13, 5-5 GNAC) rallied to take Game 2 by a score of 9-2. 

USJ took full control of Game 1 in the first inning with four runs to set the pace for the game. The Blue Jays scored their first two runs with two players getting hit by pitches with the bases loaded to take a 2-0 lead and then Megan Ricci and Brianna Barfield had RBI hits to make it 4-0 before NU even got to the plate. 

That was more than offense for USJ freshman pitcher Amaria Sharon, who threw a complete-game three-hitter to pick up her 12th win of the season for the Blue Jays. 

Norwich mustered three hits with Naomi Rinaldo (Middlefield, Conn.), Felicia Armell (North Ferrisburgh, Vt.) and Katie Reid (Gold Canyon, Ariz.) all notching hits in the opener. 

Johnson took the loss, lasting just two innings and giving up four earned runs on four hits, while striking out four and walking two. 

The Norwich offense rebounded in a big way in Game 2 however, pounding out 15 hits off Sharon, led by a 4-for-4 game from Emily Oliver (Sagamore Hills, Ohio). Oliver also notched two RBIs as well for the Cadets. 

After getting shutdown in the first inning, Norwich scored in five straight innings to take the 9-2 win and salvage the split. Sophomore Madison Miller (Long Lake, N.Y.) went 3-for-3 with two RBIs and two runs scored, while Reid, Rinaldo and Sarah Perry (New Bedford, Mass.) each had two hits as well. Reid also had three stolen bases in Game 2. 

Perry opened the scoring in the bottom of the second by punching a two-out single through the right side of the infield to score Miller and Reid. 

USJ got one back in the top of the third inning with Sarch Ercoli plating Taylor Marino with a RBI single to cut the deficit to 2-1. Norwich responded with Oliver driving home Rinaldo to get the two-run lead back in the bottom half of the inning. 

NU added two more in the bottom of the fourth inning with Miller tripling home Reid with a line drive shot over the centerfielder's head. Alexandra Jones (Topsfield, Mass.) scored Miller with a sacrifice fly line out to right field to make it 5-1. 

Oliver, Rinaldo and Miller all added RBI hits over the next two innings as well for Norwich to cap the offense on the day. 

Johnson came back strong in Game 2, going the distance, scattering five hits and giving up two earned runs on four strikeouts and three walks. She improved to 4-4 on the year. Sharon was stuck with the loss after fell to 12-5. 

Norwich will travel to Middlebury on Monday for a non-conference doubleheader starting at 3:30 p.m. The Cadets will then travel to WPI to take on Anna Maria in a makeup of this week's postponed games on Tuesday with first pitch set for 3:30 p.m. as well. 

The Cadets play their final two home regular season doubleheaders next weekend when they host Emmanuel on Saturday at 1 p.m. and then Saint Joseph's (Maine) on Sunday at 12 p.m.