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Jam packed weekend tests John Carroll’s depth

April 27th, 2016

 

It was a 31 inning weekend for the John Carroll University softball squad.

 

A double header on Saturday, April 23 developed into a Sunday, April 24 afternoon feature that included 17 innings and one win for JCU.

 

JCU dropped a two game stint with Muskingum University in a Saturday afternoon meeting with the Muskies in New Concord. But the immediate future was bright.

 

DePauw University made the trip to University Heights to represent the final non-conference game on the schedule for John Carroll, but the double header proved to be well worth the drive.

 

Game one was headed by starting pitcher, junior AnnMarie Kirchner. The right-hander threw seven scoreless innings in a game that required 10 to decide a winner. Kirchner was supplied with run support early when junior Lauren Cianciolo hit her first homerun of the season over the right field wall.

 

JCU controlled a 1-0 lead through the first three innings. It was not until sophomore Lauren Godden hit a solo shot over the right center field wall to tie the game.

 

DePauw threatened again when they loaded the bases in the fifth inning. Kirchner got out of the jam with support from the cast in the field. Freshman short stop Lindsay McKnight made a tremendous play on a hard hit ball in the hole.

 

Kirchner and DePauw pitcher sophomore Emma Baldwin tossed a gem for their respective teams. Both combined for just 14 hits and six runs through 10 innings of work.

 

In the extra frames, both teams traded runs in the ninth inning, setting up a dramatic finish.

 

Cianciolo was at the dish again with a runner of third base when she belted a line drive towards the wall in right center field. DePauw center fielder freshman Kat Panos made the spectacular play when she dove over the fence to make the catch and end the inning.

 

JCU dropped the first game 4-2. Kirchner was charged the charged the loss and dropped to 7-5 on the year.

 

Game two would supply an important rebuttal from JCU.

 

Freshman Jessica Cook got the starting nod for the second game, but her time in the circle was cut short. DePauw rattled a combined four runs across home plate through the first three innings.

 

The third inning is when JCU would jump back into contention. The hosts registered three runs in the home half of the inning, cutting the DePauw lead to 4-3.

 

The five hit half inning for JCU was highlighted when Coleman hit a two out, two run RBI single down the left field line. Junior Angie Zappitelli would cap the inning with a base knock to left field, scoring Coleman from third base.

 

Zappitelli and Coleman were  the two JCU batters to register two hits and two RBIs in the second game.

 

Sophomore Maggie Gannon would then grab the rally stick to solidify the come back victory. With two runners on the base paths, Gannon took a chest high pitch on a ride when she belted a two run shot high over the left field wall. The shot capped off a four run inning for the hosts.

 

Junior Brianna Lach supplied three scoreless innings of work in the circle to secure the win in game two.

 

Both squads registered 11 hits in the second game. DePauw had troubles bringing the runners home as they stranded seven ducks on the pond.

 

With the split, John Carroll moves to 15-17 heading into the final games of the season. JCU will look to reach .500 when Marietta University makes the trip to Bracken Field for the season finale.