CLERMONT, Fla. --- The No. 14 ranked Moravian College softball team split its final two games at the Spring Games being played at the National Training Center in Clermont, Florida on Friday as the Greyhounds dropped their first game of the season, falling to Nebraska Wesleyan University, 6-2, to begin the day before defeating John Carroll (Ohio) University, 9-1, to end the trip.
The Hounds, who head back to Bethlehem with a 9-1 record for just the second time in school history after the team's spring trip matching the 2004 squad, had six hits in the opening contest of the day against Nebraska Wesleyan with junior catcher Janae Matos going 2-for-3 with an RBI.
Junior pitcher Josie Novak took her first loss of the season in the circle as she allowed six runs, four of them earned, on seven hits and three walks to go with four strikeouts.
Nebraska Wesleyan scored a pair of unearned runs in the top of the first inning for a 2-0 lead, and the game would stay that way until the sixth when Moravian plated two runs to tie the contest. Matos drove in sophomore pinch runner Ashley Gindle with an RBI double; her eighth two-bagger of the season, and senior pinch hitter Victoria Conner delivered an RBI single to score freshman pinch runner Samantha O'Keefe.
Nebraska Wesleyan answered with four runs with two outs in the top of the seventh frame to move back in front. The Greyhounds put a runner on base in the seventh but could not score as Moravian left eight runners on base in the contest.
Moravian knocked out 11 hits in the final game versus John Carroll including three home runs. Sophomore shortstop Kaela Kane was 2-for-4 while senior first baseman Abby Jeffries was 1-for3 with a two RBIs and a homer. Conner had a pinch-hit three-run home run while sophomore center fielder Kat Spilman connected on a homer.
Junior pitcher Amanda Carisone improved to 5-0 in the circle this spring with a run on three hits and a walk to go with six strikeouts. Carisone moved into a tie for eighth in school history with her 42nd career win and eighth in career strikeouts with 240.
Moravian jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning. Freshman left fielder Emily Stanilious ed off the game with an infield single and scored on an RBI ground out by Jeffries. Matos would add another RBI ground out as Kane raced home.
John Carroll scored its lone run in the bottom of the first frame, cutting the Greyhounds' lead in half. Kane would give the Blue and Grey the in the top of the second on an RBI single to score sophomore third baseman Madison Shaneberger.
Jeffries led off the top of the third inning with a solo home run to right center field, and Conner connected on her pinch-hit homer in the top of the fifth to push the lead to 7-1. Spilman started the sixth inning with a solo home run, and Moravian finished off the scoring in the top of the seventh when senior pinch hitter Julie Siragusa scored on a throwing error after a single by senior pinch hitter Chrissy Marinaro.
The Greyhounds are scheduled to open their 2017 home season on Tuesday, March 14 when the squad welcomes Gwynedd Mercy University to Blue & Grey Field for a non-conference doubleheader slated to begin at 3:00 p.m.