NEW ROCHELLE, NY -- The Iona College softball program took to the field for day two of the Santa Clara Tournament on Saturday, March 19. The Gaels split a pair of contests, defeating the host Santa Clara 10-4, and falling to Dartmouth for a second time, 3-6.
GAME 1: Iona 10, Santa Clara 4
Iona opened up the day of competition by busting out 14 hits, dominating the Santa Clara Broncos in a decisive offensive explosion. Junior outfielder Ashlyn Morris had a pair of hits, along with junior shortstop Katie Newton and sophomore catcher Tani Danner.
Freshman left fielder Marisa Gergel and senior slugger Christine Costello combined four six hits, four runs and six runs batted in.
The Maroon & Gold jumped out to an eight-nothing after their first two at-bats. Newton punched home four runs with her second homerun of the season in the opening frame; her blast followed the first four batter in the order reaching base safely via three singles and an error.
The long ball proved fruitful for the Gaels once again in the second; Turner homered for the second time this season, driving home three more runs to give freshman Jessica Harkness a nice cushion in the circle.
The rookie picked up her second win of the season, going five innings, allowing four runs on 10 hits, without walking or striking out a batter. Costello came on in relief and pitching two scoreless innings.
The final two runs for Iona came in the final inning; Danner led off the inning with a single, and by way of an error by the Broncos third basemen, junior outfielder Kelsey Long was allowed to drive home a pair of runs via double to right center.
Senior Casandra Padilla had two hits and a pair of runs scored from the leadoff spot for Santa Clara. Sophomore centerfield Justine Garner had three hits from the clean-up spot. The four Broncos run were driven in by freshman catcher Kelsie Bernard, freshman first basemen Morgan Modesto, and junior Kimberly Goular.
GAME 2: Dartmouth 6, Iona 3
Freshmen Alana Evans got the start on the mound for the Gaels in game two of the double header. Control proved to be an issue of concern for the rookie as she walked seven batters in 2.1 innings pitched. Dartmouth was able to score six runs in those few innings; The Big Green had just three hits in the short scoring time.
Dartmouth scored in the bottom of the first by way of a RBI single off the bay of junior first basemen Maddie Damore. Three more runs crossed the plate in the second; sophomore centerfielder Tiffany Dyson single in a run, and senior shortstop Katie McEachern singled to left to bring home two runs.
The final runs for The Big Green came in the third, forcing Iona Head Coach Melissa Inouye to make pitching change. Senior Jordan Courage replaced Evans on the rubber, and she’d go on to throw 3.2 innings of scoreless ball, giving the Gaels a shot in the final frame for a late rally.
Senior catcher Allyne Clark began the Gaels’ late comeback effort with a double to left center, and she was soon driven home by a single from Morris. Iona was able to load up the bases, forcing a pitching change from Dartmouth.
Turner hit a double down the right field line to drive in two, cutting the deficit to three. The rally would end there with back-to-back strikeouts by Newton and Long.
Iona concludes the Santa Clara Tournament by taking on North Dakota State at noon, on Sunday, March 20.