USCB softball pulled out a massive doubleheader sweep over Ave Maria on Saturday, blanking the Gyrenes 4-0 in game one before completing an incredible rally to earn a 4-3 extra-inning victory in the finale.
Neither side could get the offense going early in game one, but USCB broke through in the third inning with a quartet of runs to take a 4-0 lead. Ashlyn Alte opened the scoring with a bases-loaded walk, Devon Weller smashed a single down the left-field line to score two, and Zinia Hampleton kept the big inning going with an RBI-knock to plate the Sand Sharks’ fourth run of the frame.
Ally Muraskin continued her domination on the mound from beginning to end, allowing just one runner to reach base from the fifth inning on in a complete-game shutout.
Muraskin conjured what may be her greatest performance of the season, throwing a two-hit gem with nine strikeouts. Weller led the Sand Shark offense with a key two-RBI single to stretch the advantage.
The second game looked like another pitching duel early, as both Maria Molloseau and Alissa Bolinger were fantastic in the first two frames. Ave Maria broke the scoreless tie in the bottom of the third and added a pair of insurance runs in the sixth to go up 3-0.
The Sand Sharks came into the seventh inning still looking for their first baserunner of the game and delivered a comeback for the ages. After Bri Dunn reached on an error to break up the perfect game, Emily Phillps bunted in USCB’s first hit to put runners on the corners with no outs. Alte grounded to the pitcher while Dunn snuck across home plate to make it 3-1, and Kaleigh Furbush found the heroics, belting a two-run homer to left field and knotting the game at 3.
The contest continued into extra innings, and Muraskin returned to throw a scoreless eighth thanks to a sensational diving line-drive catch by Amber Locasto.
In the bottom half, Rachel Frankhouser started on second base by the extra-inning rule and moved to third on a groundout and flyout. Dunn and Jodi Hatcher loaded the bases, and Alte drew a four-pitch walk to bring home the winning run and clinch the series sweep.
Maria Molloseau set the tone with a solid six innings from the circle with four strikeouts, and Sierra Bilinski shined with a no-hit seventh inning to spark the comeback.
USCB (14-12, 5-5) continues Sun Conference on Wednesday at home against Thomas.
By Wes Kerr