Free threw a one-hitter allowing just one run in the first game of the day against East Carolina.
Feb. 16, 2013
GREENVILLE, N.C. - The St. John's softball team found itself in another wild Saturday tournament doubleheader, falling in a pitcher's duel to East Carolina, 1-0, and going back in forth in an offensive showcase against St. Joseph's, tying the Hawks 8-8, after the game was called off due to wintry weather.
Ashley Beza went 3-for-6 on the day, while Yvonne Rericha knocked in a team-high three runs and scored two of her own. Kelsey Moyer added two RBI for St. John's (2-5-1) and Tori Free shone in the circle, pitching a complete-game one-hitter and tying a season high with nine strikeouts.
In the second game of the weekend against St. Joseph's, the Hawks got the early advantage with an RBI double by Sarah Yoos and an RBI single by Brandi Harkness for a 2-0 lead after the first inning.
St. John's would storm back to take the lead with five runs in the top of the second. Dominique Marcelino started the rally as she was hit by a pitch with one out. Ellen Czuba then smacked an infield single and MacKenna Neuroth walked to load the bases. Moyer drew a walk of her own to bring in Marcelino and cut the St. Joe's lead in half.
Rericha would then deliver one of the biggest hits of her young career with a triple to left field to clear the bases and make it a 4-2 St. John's advantage. She would then score three pitches later on a wild pitch for the 5-2 lead.
The Hawks would get a run back in the bottom of the third, courtesy of a Monica Aguilar RBI double.
The Red Storm would add three in the top of the fifth, with Jackie Reed leading off the inning with a double. Marcelino took advantage of a St. Joseph's miscue to reach first while Reed came around to score. Another Hawk error would put runners on first and third for Moyer, who would single to score Marcelino and record her second RBI of the day. After a Rericha single loaded the bases, another SJU wild pitch would allow Neuroth to come home for an 8-3 St. John's lead.
In the bottom half of the inning, St. Joseph's rallied to tie the game as snow began pelting down at ECU Softball Stadium. Three singles and a walk plated the first run of the inning while also loading the bases for Deanna Stinner, who would hit a grand slam over the left field fence to tie the game at eight apiece.
After the St. John's half of the sixth inning, the game would be called due to weather.
Beza (2-1, 4.67 ERA) would pitch all five innings for the Red Storm in the no decision. The outcome marks just the seventh tie in St. John's history.
In the first game of the day, Free would battle with East Carolina's Courtney Smith and Sarah Christian, but it would be an early Pirate score that would be the difference.
In the top of the first Alex Fieldhouse drew a two-out walk for ECU. After another walk to Abby Wynne, Jordan Lewis hit an RBI single to right for a 1-0 ECU lead.
St. John's would threaten in the bottom half of the inning as Beza hit a one-out double and advanced to third on a fielder's choice, but St. John's couldn't push her across.
The Red Storm had runners in the fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh innings, but couldn't get the equalizer, stranding five runners in the game.
Free (0-3, 1.24 ERA) pitched a complete game allowing just the one East Carolina hit in taking the loss.
Due to the unplayable conditions, all three games scheduled for Sunday at the Pirate Classic have been cancelled, including the Red Storm's matchup with Georgetown at 9 a.m.
Up next for St. John's will be a trip to Northern California as St. John's opens its eight-game Spring Break trip with a doubleheader at San Jose State on Feb. 24.
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