Feb. 10, 2018
SJU 9, ECU 1 box scoreSJU 8, FIU 0 box score
MIAMI - St. John’s softball evened its record with convincing back-to-back victories on the second day of the Felsberg Invitational on Saturday in Miami. The Red Storm (2-2) let up just one run in two games, defeating ECU, 9-1 and FIU, 8-0.
Madison Morris opened up day two of the Felsberg Invitational with a win after allowing just one earned run and four hits over six innings, giving the junior pitcher and her team their first victory of the 2018 season, 9-1, over ECU (1-3).
Christina Melendez had a stellar performance for the Red Storm going 2-for-3 with a pair of RBIs and three runs scored. In addition Marissa Rizzi drove in a team-high three RBIs on the day to lead St. John’s to a 9-1 victory.
The Red Storm did damage early, plating five runs in the top of the first. Following back-to-back singles from Lauren Zick and Krystal Puga to lead off the frame, Melendez doubled to center to bring home Zick and give St. John’s the 1-0 lead. After Savannah Warren hit a liner to third for the first out of the inning, Kaitlin Mattera walked to load the bases before Gretchen Bowie drew another base on balls, scoring the second run of the inning. With the bags still juiced, Rizzi belted a bases-clearing double to left, driving home three runs and putting the Johnnies on top by five.
After a 1-2-3 inning for ECU in the home half, Melendez extended the lead with one swing of the bat, sending a shot over the left field wall and extending the Red Storm advantage to 6-0.
The Red Storm added its seventh run of the game in the top of the fifth, as a one-out Mattera double set up a scoring opportunity when her pinch runner, Laura Delgado, came around to score on a throwing error by the third baseman.
In the sixth, the Red Storm capped off its show-stopper performance with two more runs on RBI singles from Warren and Mattera to make it a 9-0 ball game.
The Pirates would add a run in the bottom of the sixth, but it wasn’t enough to avoid the run rule as St. John’s claimed the 9-1 victory after six frames.
McKenzie Murray picked up her first win of the season in a near perfect pitching performance, allowing just four runners to reach base in an 8-0 win over FIU (1-2). The senior surrendered just two hits and two walks over five innings of work.
Melendez and Warren led the squad with two hits each while Puga notched a team-high three RBIs.
Riding its momentum from game one, St. John’s opened another early lead as Zick led off the game with an infield single before swiping second and third. Melendez then singled her home before coming around to score herself on a Mattera double to right, putting the Johnnies ahead by a pair after a half an inning.
After holding the Panthers scoreless in the home half, the Johnnies had an explosive four-hit, five-run second inning that saw homers off the bats of both Rizzi and Puga. Rizzi set the tempo with a leadoff solo shot to left field, making it a three-run ball game in favor of the Johnnies. After Hannah Anderson reached on an error and Zick walked to give the Johnnies a pair of base runners, Puga brought them all home with a three-run jack to left center, extending the Johnnies’ lead to six. Melendez then doubled to left in the next at-bat before a Warren RBI single brought her home and pushed the Red Storm advantage to seven.
Following scoreless frames in the third and fourth, freshman Gabriella Conca recorded her first collegiate hit in the top of the fifth, doubling home the final run of the game as St. John’s bumped its lead to eight.
Murray promptly set the Panthers down in order in the bottom of the fifth, sealing the Red Storm’s second run-rule victory of the day.
St. John's returns to the diamond tomorrow at for the final day of the Felsberg Invitational. The Red Storm will take on RV South Carolina with first pitch scheduled for 9 a.m.