Softball: Norwich splits GNAC DH with Anna Maria

Madison Miller softball game action Florida

WORCESTER, Mass. – The Norwich University softball team split another Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) doubleheader on Tuesday afternoon vs. Anna Maria College at WPI. 

Norwich (6-15-1, 6-6 GNAC) won Game 1, 6-0 behind another dominant effort from sophomore pitcher Rachel Johnson (Stockbridge, Vt.). However, the Cadets blew a three-run lead in the bottom of the seventh inning to fall 8-7 to the AMCATS in the nightcap. 

Anna Maria (4-18, 2-10 GNAC) scored four runs in the bottom of the seventh inning to steal a split of the season series and keep the Cadets at .500 in league play. 

Sophomore Naomi Rinaldo (Middlefield, Conn.) continued her hot streak at the plate, going 4-for-8 with four RBIs and two runs scored to keep up her torrid pace this week. 

Johnson spun another impressive game in the circle in the first game, throwing all seven innings and giving up just three hits on one walk and striking out nine to improve to 5-5 on the season. 

Norwich broke a scoreless tie in the top of the sixth inning with five runs to take a commanding lead. The Cadets added another in the seventh to complete the scoring.

Justina George (Wallingford, Conn.), Olivia Bussiere (Northfield, Vt.) and Madison Miller (Long Lake, N.Y.) each had two hits for NU in the first game. 

Norwich jumped on top in Game 2 with two runs in the top of the first inning with Rinaldo and Wade notching RBI hits to score Sarah Perry (New Beford, Mass.) and Rinaldo. 

Anna Maria responded with two runs a piece in the bottom of the second and the bottom of the fifth to take a 4-2 lead. 

Norwich battled back with four runs in the top of the sixth inning, highlighted by a two RBI double to score George and Perry. Emily Oliver (Sagamore Hills, Ohio) helped herself with a RBI single right after to score Rinaldo and make it 6-4 Norwich. 

The Cadets added another run in the top of the seventh with Miller singling through the left side to score Katie Reid (Gold Canyon, Ariz.). 

Things fell apart though in the bottom of the seventh as the Cadets gave up four runs after getting the first two outs of the inning. Anna Maria reeled off three straight hits to score two runs and cut the lead to 7-6. 

Hannah Trudo then reached on error that allowed the tying run to score. Anna Maria then scored the game-winning run on a passed ball. 

Miller led Norwich's offense with a 4-for-4 effort in the second game. Makenna Wade (Pensacola, Fla.) and Oliver each had two hits as well. 

Oliver took the loss for the Cadets to fall to 1-8 on the year. She went 6.2 innings, giving up six earned runs on 11 hits and one walk while striking out four.

Norwich travels to East Boston, Mass. to take on Suffolk University on Thursday in another GNAC doubleheader showdown. The Cadets sit seventh in the league standings, one spot behind Suffolk, who is 6-4.