Softball: Cadets' bats stay hot in GNAC opener sweep of Anna Maria

Kaylee Blanchard softball action in South Carolina (Chandler Mosher '20)

PAXTON, Mass. - The Norwich University softball team scored 32 runs on 33 hits to continue their offensive explosion this week in a sweep of Anna Maria in its Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) opener on Saturday afternoon.

Norwich (8-6, 2-0 GNAC) extended its winning streak to six straight games and has now scored 66 runs over its last four games. Senior Naomi Rinaldo (Middlefield, Conn.), junior Katie Reid (Gold Canyon, Ariz.) and sophomore Madelyn Folcik (Wilmot, N.H.) all hit home runs to lead the Cadets' offense on the day.

Norwich took Game 1 by a score of 14-5 and then finished off the sweep with an 18-10 win in Game 2 after six innings.

Junior Kaylee Blanchard (Worcester, Mass.) had a huge day, going 7-for-10 at the plate with six RBIs to lead the offense on the day. 

The Cadets had 21 hits in the first game with every hitter in the lineup notching at least one hit and all but one having multi-hit games. Eight of the nine Norwich hitters all had at least one RBI on the game as well in a balanced offensive effort.

Blanchard, Dara Kelly (Chesterfield, N.J.), Faith Poor (New Haven, Ind.) and Brittany Vandergroef (Lodi, N.J.) each had three hits. Vandergroef, Blanchard and Poor each had two RBIs as well.

Reid and Folcik each had two RBIs as well with Folcik launching her second home run of the season in the top of the fourth inning to put the Cadets up 8-2 after a big five-run third inning.

Senior Emily Oliver (Sagamore Hills, Ohio) picked up her sixth victory of the season in the circle, going all seven innings, giving up four earned runs on 12 hits and striking out three.

In Game 2, Norwich scored at least one run in every inning, including six in the top of the sixth inning and five in the third inning.

Reid and Rinaldo each hit two-run home runs in the victory as Reid tied for the team-lead with four RBIs in the nightcap. Blanchard also had four RBIs for the Cadets in the second game to complete her impressive day. Rinaldo had three RBIs, while Oliver went 2-for-4 with two RBIs as well.

Vandergroef picked up her second victory of the season, going 4.2 innings, giving up nine hits and five earned runs while striking out seven. 

Norwich wraps up the busy week by hosting Saint Joseph's (Maine) on Sunday, April 7 at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. on Sabine Field. The Monks are also 2-0 in league play after sweeping Albertus Magnus on Saturday.