March 3, 2013
NORFOLK, Va. -
Army's softball team snapped a four-game losing string with a 4-2 victory over Delaware in closing out competition at the Spartan Classic, hosted by Norfolk State, on a winning note Sunday afternoon. The decision avenged an 11-1 tournament-opening loss to the Blue Hens (9-3) at the NSU Softball Field.
Sophomore right-hander Morgan Lashley went the distance on a five-hitter, struck out three and walked four in recording her second win of the season. Junior Amanda Nguyen went 3-for-4 with a run scored and freshman Kasey McCravey was 2-for-4, with two RBI and a run as Army raked two Delaware pitchers for 11 hits, one shy of its season-high.
The Black Knights (3-6) staked Lashley to a 3-0 lead in the top of the third inning aided by three hits and a pair of errors. Sophomore Ali Cleinmark led off with her first double of the season and moved around on back-to-back Blue Hen errors to score the first run.
Junior April Ortenzo's bunt delivered freshman Christian McKone, safe on an error by the second baseman, for the second run. Nguyen, who reached on an error by the third baseman, was delivered by McCravey's single up the middle for what would prove to be the winning margin. Starter Jiao Chenxi (2-2) left bases loaded in getting out of the inning on a flyout to center field.
Delaware pulled to within a run plating a pair of runs in the home half of the third in drawing to 3-2, but Lashley stranded the potential tying run at second base and go-ahead at first on an infield popup to the third base.
The sophomore hurler only once allowed Delaware into scoring position over the next four frames after yielding a leadoff hit followed by a walk in the bottom of the fifth inning. She got out of that jam as the defense turned a triple play, just the second time at the Division level and first since 2008.
Lashley, who was touched for 11 runs on 14 hits in Army's loss to the Blue Hens on Saturday, retired six of the final seven batters she faced in picking up her second win in seven appearances after snapping Delaware's three-game win streak.
Army added an insurance run in the top of the fifth inning on McCravey's first collegiate home run on her leadoff solo blast off Chexi for a 4-2 lead. The Black Knights, collecting hits in every inning, left a pair of runners on base in the sixth and seventh innings as reliever Taylor Curran denied Army in its final at bat as a double play left runners at second and third base.
Seven Army players collected a hit with Nguyen stroking three along with two each by Ortenzo and McCravey.
Army went 1-3 at the tournament ith Nguyen batting .643 (9-for-14) collecting hits in all four games and multiple hits three times scoring six runs along with six stolen bases. The outfielder posted a slugging percentage of .643 and on-base percentage of .667. McCravey was next batting .385 (2-for-13) for a .692 slugging percentage and a team-high four runs batted in.
The Black Knights are idle this week as they prepare for their spring trip to Florida for the Rebel Games starting with a pair of games on Monday, March 11, taking on Wagner and Robert Morris.