Amanda Leone's home run and Elise Oliande's pinch-hit RBI double keyed an eight-run, fifth inning outburst to carry the St. Thomas Aquinas College women's softball to an 8-0 victory over New York Institute of Technology today in the first game of an East Coast Conference doubleheader at Spartan Field. NYIT won the second game, 5-1.
The fifth inning rally broke open a pitching duel between STAC's Colleen Borum and NYIT's Sofia Evangelista. Leone led off the inning with a home run over the fence in right centerfield and Oliande followed Caitlyn Francoeur's single with a clutch double to deep left center field. Teammates Kelcy McGeehan and Melissa Sadler added run-producing singles later in the onslaught. The game was stopped after five innings due to the ECC run rule.
Borum increased her record to 6-9 with another solid effort. She benefitted from excellent defensive play from Amanda Schweitzer (third base) and Briana Keaveney (left field). Keaveney saved a run in the fifth inning when made a diving catch of a line drive down the left field.
"Amanda has been working very hard on her hitting and her home run today gave us a big lift," said STAC head coach Kristen Sullivan. "Our defensive effort today was very strong and Colleen was effective again."
In the nightcap, the Lady Spartans rallied in the sixth inning to tie the score 1-1 on Morgan Santora's pinch-hit single to center field. NYIT scored four runs in the seventh inning highlighted by Mikea Lewis' leadoff triple and Samantha Melendez's clutch single to left field. Briana Keaveney excelled for STAC with two hits, including a triple, and five innings of solid mound work.
The doubleheader split moved STAC's conference record to 6-8 and 11-21 overall while NYIT finished the day at 5-9 in the ECC and 7-19 overall.
The Lady Spartans next play tomorrow at home against ECC foe Mercy College. The doubleheader begins at 2:30 p.m.