Saint Joseph's Softball Splits Pair at USF UnderArmour Invitational

The Saint Joseph's softball team split its opening pair of games Friday at the USF UnderArmour Invitational. The Hawks topped Bethune-Cookman, 2-1, in eight innings, but fell to Jacksonville, 2-0, in eight innings in the opener.
Against Bethune-Cookman, the Hawks got a stellar pitching performance from sophomore Taryn Ashway as she allowed just five hits over six innings before giving way to redshirt junior Lauren Pembleton in the seventh.
Pembleton held the opposition hitless in the seventh, but allowed a run in the eighth due to the extra-inning rules. Placed at second to start the inning, Bethune-Cookman's Ashton Hinds advanced to third on a ground out, and came in to put her team up 1-0 on a sacrifice bunt by Allison Garcia.
Saint Joseph's (6-5) would have answers in the bottom of the eighth, plating a pair of runs. Freshman Maria Ficca scored the tying run on a RBI single up the middle by sophomore Shannon Kramer. Junior Alaina Loguidice advanced to first on a hit-by-pitch, with the lead runner getting thrown out at third on a fielder's choice in the next at-bat.
With runners at first and second, senior Laura Cardone came through with a single up the middle, scoring Loguidice from second to give SJU the 2-1 win.
In the opener, junior Erin Gallagher held Jacksonville off the scoreboard over the opening seven innings, but gave up a two-run home run to Meagan Balding that would prove the difference. Gallagher, who struck out six and allowed just one earned run, gave up just three hits in the hard-luck loss.
Saint Joseph's couldn't muster anything in the bottom of the eighth, as Jacksonville retired the Hawks in order to end the game.
The Hawks continue play Saturday at 10 a.m. against Wagner.

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