Newton, Mass. – The Albertus Magnus College softball team split a Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) doubleheader with Mount Ida at Alumni Field. The visiting Falcons took the opener, 4-2, and the host Mustangs rallied for a 9-3 victory in the finale.
Albertus Magnus split a GNAC doubleheader for the second straight day and the fourth time this spring to enter the final week of the regular season with a 19-11 overall record and a 10-8 mark in league play. Mount Ida moves to 9-21 on the year and 5-13 in conference contests.
Freshman pitcher Kristen Cunning (Hoboken, N.J.) tossed a complete game and allowed just two earned runs en route to her fifth victory of the season. Cunning scattered four hits and struck out one hitter while retiring the side in order in the second, fifth and sixth frames.
On the opposite side, Nicole Handzel went the distance and struck out 12 batters in a losing effort.
Each team scored in their first ups of the game, with the Falcons plating a pair of runs on a single to left center by Daysia Wehder (Queens, N.Y.), and Mount Ida evening the score when Microulis hit a ground rule double down the left field line to plate Lucianna Medici and MacDonald, who had two hits and stole two bases in the contest.
The only other damage, and the eventual game-winning hit, came in the top of the fifth when AMC sophomore infielder Melissa Castillo (Taftville, Conn.) scored two on a double to right center, giving Cunning all the insurance she needed.
Four different Falcons recorded hits in the tilt, with the No. 2-No. 5 batters each registering one apiece.
Mount Ida erased a 1-0 deficit with five runs in the bottom of the first and never trailed after that. The Mustangs pounded out 11 hits and took advantage of five AMC miscues in the contest to earn the split.
Junior Shyleen Ortiz (New Britain, Conn.) was saddled with loss, working just one inning and allowing five runs (only two were earned). In relief, sophomore Megan Ferraro (Branford, Conn.) tossed the final five innings and allowed three earned runs.
Mount Ida shortstop Hayley Microulis had three hits, including a triple, two RBIs and two runs scored, while Kristina Stella, Victoria Russo and Jenni Jackson, each had two hits, with Jackson knocking in a pair of runs as well.
Brianna Whitfield (West Islip, N.Y.) accounted for all three RBIs for Albertus Magnus. Gillian Fortier (Naugatuck, Conn.) was 3-4 and scored on a sacrifice fly by Whitfield in the first, as six of the seven Falcons hits came from the top three in their lineup.
Whitfield scored two more runners with a single to left center in the second, but Mount Ida added another run in the fourth when Microulis singled home Michele MacDonald, who crossed the plate twice without the benefit of a hit.
Microulis tripled home MacDonald in the sixth and then scored when Handzel stole second before Handzel crossed the plate herself on Jackson's single to center.
Handzel improved her record to 7-12 on the year, allowing two earned runs over seven innings and striking five with just one free pass.
Albertus Magnus returns to action on Wednesday, April 27, with a road conference doubleheader versus in-state rival St. Joseph (Conn.) that is slated to begin at 3:00 pm. Last spring, the Falcons and Bluejays split a doubleheader in New Haven.