Softball: Cadets sweep Dean in non-conference DH

Emily Oliver pitching South Carolina (Chandler Mosher)

FRANKLIN, Mass. - The Norwich University softball team picked up a non-conference doubleheader sweep at Dean College on Thursday afternoon in its first game of 2019 in New England.

Senior Emily Oliver (Sagamore Hills, Ohio) picked up two victories in the circle and went 2-for-7 with a home run and three runs scored to lead Norwich (4-6) to the sweep. The Cadets hit four home runs in Game 2, to rally to a 10-7 extra-inning victory over the Bulldogs. Madison Miller (Patterson, Ga.), Dara Kelly (Chesterfield, N.J.) and Kaylee Blanchard (Worcester, Mass.) each hit home runs along with Oliver to lead the offense in the nightcap. 

Miller went 3-for-5 in Game 2 with two RBIs, while Madelyn Folcik (Wilmot, N.H.) went 3-for-4 with a team-leading three RBIs in the second game to help lead the Cadets' offense.

Norwich pounded out 15 hits in Game 2 and scored four runs in the top of the eighth inning to pull away for the 10-7 victory after being tied 6-6 after regulation. 

Trailing 6-4 in the top of the sixth inning, Oliver and Blanchard each hit solo runs to tie the game back up and force extra innings.

Folcik broke the 6-6 tie in the top of the eighth inning with a two-run single to plate Blanchard and Oliver and give the Cadets the lead for good. Kelly then completed the four-run inning with NU's fourth home run of the game by Kelly to score Folcik as well. 

Sophomore Brittany Vandergroef (Lodi, N.J) got her first start of the season, going five innings, striking out seven and giving up five earned runs. Oliver came on in relief and pitched three shutout innings, striking out three on three hits. 

In Game 1, Norwich dominated from the beginning of the game, scoring four runs in the top of the first inning, highlighted by a two-run triple from Naomi Rinaldo (Middlefield, Conn.) in her first at-bat of the season. Rinaldo finished the first game with three RBIs, while Kelly notched three hits and two runs scored.

Oliver picked up the victory, firing a complete-game five-hitter, giving up just one earned run and struck out five. 

Norwich will travel play its first home games of the season on Wednesday, April 3 when it hosts NVU-Johnson at 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. on the Sabine Field turf.