March 2, 2013
NORFOLK, Va. -
Host Norfolk Statue scored a pair of runs in the top of the eighth inning to snap a 6-6 tie and winner Jamie Schulle retired the side, the last two by strikeouts, in the home half to register an 8-6 decision over Army in its opening game at the Spartan Classic Saturday afternoon at NSU Softball Field.
Only four of NSU's eight runs were earned, while five of Army's six were earned runs as the Black Knights (2-5) suffered their second loss at the tournament.
After Norfolk State (3-4) scored a pair of unearned runs in the top of the first inning, Army cut that deficit to 2-1 in the home half on Alex Reynolds' two-out RBI double delivering Amanda Nguyen, who beat out an infield single and stole second. Reynolds moved to third base on Marina Northup's single, but was stranded when the next batter struck out.
The Spartans and Black Knights each scored a run in the third inning with Reynolds' sacrifice fly to center field driving in Nguyen for the second time in the game as Army stayed within one run, 3-2.
The Black Knights tied the game 3-all in the bottom of the fifth inning when Nguyen capitalized on an error to score an unearned run. The Army left fielder, who was 3-for-3 with four runs scored, beat out an infield hit, stole second base and scored on the pitcher's overthrow on April Ortenzo's sacrifice bunt. Starter Liz Riley did not allow Army to score the go-ahead run after stranding Ortenzo at third base.
NSU snapped the tie on Robyn Mitchell's two-out bases clearing double in the top of the sixth inning off freshman right-hander Braetana Roy (1-1) to stretch its lead to 6-3, but that proved short lived.
Army answered with three runs off reliever Jamie Schuller (3-3) in the home half of the sixth with two outs to knot the score at 6-6. With bases loaded, Ortenzo was hit by a pitch forcing in the first run and freshman Kasey McCravey (2-for-4) followed with a two-run double as Army capitalized on two hits, a walk and two hit batsmen in that frame.
Roy, earning her second start of the season in four appearances, retired the side in the top of the seventh and Schulle did the same in the bottom half. With the game tied 6-6 after the regulation seven innings, the international tie breaker rule was applied due to time restraints. The last player to make an out starts off at second base.
Clara Quinones was placed at second for the Spartans and moved to third on a fielder's choice that allowed Kathy Cortez to reach first place. Heather Dunning's RBI single up the middle snapped the tie in delivering Quinones. Following a double play, Mitchell (2-for-3) singled home Cortez with the insurance run for her fourth RBI of the game.
Schulle threw a two-hitter, walked one and struck out two of the 13 batters she faced over three innings in the circle to pick up the win in relief
Army had eight hits (six off Riley and two off Schulle) with Nguyen and McCravey collecting three and two apiece, respectively.
Nguyen is batting .571 (4-for-7) at the tournament with four runs scored along with a .571 slugging percentage and .625 on-base percentage. Reynolds and Northup are next batting .333 (2-for-6) with Reynolds the leader with three RBI.
Army closes out the two-day tournament taking on Marist at 9 a.m. Sunday morning and Delaware at 1 p.m. Army fell 11-1 to the Blue Hens in six innings after they snapped a 1-1 tie with 10 runs in that frame in its opening game at the tournament. The Red Foxes are coming off a 2-11 loss to NSU.