Briana Keaveney's three-run, inside-the-park home run propelled the St. Thomas Aquinas College women's softball team to a 4-3 win over Caldwell University in the second game of a non-conference doubleheader today at Spartan Field. The Lady Spartans' seventh inning rally fell short in the first game in a 5-4 loss.
"This is a good confidence builder for us as we prepare to open conference play this week," said Kristen Sullivan, STAC's head coach. "I was pleased with our overall level of play today. Briana's home run was a very exciting play and Colleen (Borum) pitched very well."
After Caldwell took a 1-0 led in the third inning, STAC's Brittany Malloy and Melissa Sadler opened the third inning with singles. With two outs, Keaveney drilled a line drive to right field and used her excellent speed to circle the bases and narrowly elude a tag at home plate for an inside-the-park homer. Amanda Schweitzer's double scored Ashley Landolina later in the inning to expand the lead to 4-1.
Borum, the junior righthander, made the lead hold up with effective pitching. She struck out four batters to register her first win of the season. Catcher Amanda Leone's outstanding defensive play in the sixth inning helped preserve the lead. With the potential game-tying runner on second base, Leone's strong throw to shortstop Landolina picked the runner off to end the threat.
In the first game, Caldwell built a 5-0 lead before the Lady Spartans stormed back. Schweitzer's RBI double in the sixth inning scored Landolina to cut the lead to 5-1. Sadler opened the seventh inning with a double and Elise Oliande walked before Me'-Lani Kendle stroked a two-run triple to right field. Borum's infield grounder drove Kendle home, but Caldwell was able to get the final out to douse the rally.
Landolina continued her hot hitting with three hits, including a double, and Schweitzer added a double.
The Lady Spartans open ECC play on Tuesday with a doubleheader at LIU Post that begins at 2:30 p.m.