Offense Barrage Leads St. John's to Doubleheader Sweep Over Providence|
March 25, 2017
QUEENS. N.Y. -- After scoring five runs in the third to help open up league play with an 8-3 victory, the St. John's softball team completed a doubleheader sweep over Providence by scoring a season-high 15 runs en route to a 15-7 victory over the Friars on Saturday at Red Storm Field.
For the second time in three seasons, the Johnnies swept their conference opener to improve the team's overall record to 14-10 with nine wins coming in the team's last 12 games.
GAME ONE: St. John's 8, Providence 3
With the score tied at one in the third, the Johnnies used a five-run, third frame to overtake Providence, 8-3, and begin conference play in the win column.
Freshmen duo Gretchen Bowie and Kaitlin Mattera paved the way for the Red Storm attack in game one. Bowie drove in four runs on a two-run home run and a two-run double, while Mattera went 2-for-2 with a run, RBI and walk. Senior Brittany Garcia scored three times, ripped a double and drove in a run. Junior Savannah Warren tallied two runs, a hit and walk, while Lauren Zick swiped three bases and scored a run.
The Friars opened the scoring in the second using back-to-back two-out hits from Nadia Kemp and Megan McCune to take an early lead.
St. John's answered back with a run of its own to tie the game at one, taking advantage of a fielding error by first baseman Julianne Rurka to score a speeding Garcia from second base.
Four hits all coming with two outs propelled a five-run, third inning for the Johnnies. Zick drew a walk and stole her third bag of the day before coming around to score on a wild pitch. Mattera drove in her 14th run of the season on a double to left. Next at bat, Garcia doubled down the left-field line for an RBI before Bowie hammered her team-leading third home run to make it a 5-1 ballgame.
Bowie extended the lead to seven runs in the fifth when she drove in her third and fourth runs of the game on a double to right center.
In the seventh, Providence posed a threat scoring a pair of runs off Murray to cut the Red Storm lead to 8-3. With the bases loaded and one out, Free came in and got back-to-back strikeouts to secure the team's 13th win.
GAME TWO: St. John's 15, Providence 7 (6 innings)
Monique Landini was unstoppable at the plate as the senior went 3-for-3 with her first-career grand slam and a career-high five RBIs. Mattera turned in her seventh multi-hit game finishing with a career-best three hits to go with two RBIs. Junior Savannah Warren also went yard, connecting for her third home run of the season, while Zick scored a career-high four runs and finished with two hits, an RBI and a stolen base. Senior Lexi Robles set new career-highs in hits and runs with three apiece as Hannah Anderson also scored three times on three hits and had an RBI. Garcia collected a hit, run and RBI as well.
Senior Grace Kramer (4-3) posted seven strikeouts over 4.0 innings and earned the win, while sophomore Madison Morris finished up the last two frames for the Red Storm. After two scoreless innings, Providence broke the stalemate on a two-run single from Julianne Rurka.
The Johnnies came right back in the bottom half of the third and tallied three runs to take a 3-2 lead. After consecutive hits from Anderson and Zick, Landini opened the scoring for the Johnnies with an RBI base knock up the middle. Two batters later, Mattera plated Zick and Landini on a two-run single up the middle.
In the fourth, St. John's put up a four spot on the board to bump its lead to 7-2. Robles and Zick took advantage of their speed and raced around the entire diamond when the Providence third baseman threw the ball into the outfield. Later in the frame, Warren launched a two-run home run to center field for her third long ball of the year.
The Friars added a pair of runs in the fifth to make it a 7-4 ballgame. Two walks and two singles helped give Providence its first run of the inning before Morris took over for Kramer. After a sacrifice fly to left scored a run, Morris got a fly out and strikeout to keep the lead intact.
Landini mashed a grand slam off the scoreboard in left in the fifth for her first home run of the season, putting the Johnnies on top, 11-4.
Providence returned the favor in its next at bats when Nicole Lundstrom hit a three-run home run to trim the Red Storm lead to four runs.
Next inning, RBI singles from Anderson and Zick pushed the lead to 13-7. After Landini walked to load the bases, Garcia's infield single closed out the game in the sixth as Zick and Anderson came around to score to complete the eight-run rule.
Tomorrow the Red Storm aims to sweep a BIG EAST opening series for the first time since taking three-straight from Butler in 2015. First pitch is slated for noon and will be aired on SJU-TV All-Access.