BETHLEHEM, Pa. --- The No. 15 Moravian College softball team opened its 2017 home season with a sweep of Wilkes University, 2-1 and 10-1 in five innings, in non-conference action at Blue & Grey Field Thursday.
"Wilkes is a good team with two good pitchers," stated Head Coach John Byrne. "The first game could have gone either way with, and we didn't hit with people on base. Kaela stepped up to get the hit that we needed so no margin for error there. In the second game, I thought we hit the ball a little bit better. Once we started scoring some runs and got some space, it was a little bit easier. We have some things we need to do better – we've got to bunt the ball better, drive runs in with no outs or one out with runners in scoring position. We have to do better job of capitalizing on those opportunities because they will cost you games down the road."
Moravian, now 16-2 on the year, had seven hits in the opener with junior catcher Janae Matos going 2-for-3 with a double and sophomore shortstop Kaela Kane posting a 2-for-4 game at the plate with the game-winning RBI.
Junior Josie Novak earned the victory in the circle to improve to 7-2 on the season. She allowed an unearned run on one hit and one walk while striking out eight batters to give her 400 career strikeouts, third in the Moravian record books.
The Greyhounds took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second inning when Matos led off with a single and scored on an RBI sacrifice fly by senior designated player Victoria Conner.
The Colonels took advantage of a Moravian error in the top of the seventh inning to tie the score at 1-1. However, Moravian loaded the bases in the bottom of the inning with Kane earning the walk-off hit with an RBI single up the middle that scored junior pinch runner Jackie Marshall.
The Blue and Grey added 11 hits in the second game and Matos and sophomore center fielder Kat Spilman were both 3-for-3 with two RBIs. Matos added a pair of doubles to give her a team-high 13 doubles on the year while Spilman had one double. Freshman Samantha O'Keefe added two RBIs on a triple in the win.
Moravian took a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the third inning. Senior left fielder Julie Siragusa led off with a single and scored on an RBI sacrifice fly by senior first baseman Abby Jeffries. Kane would race home on a wild pitch before Spilman crossed the plate on an RBI double by Matos.
After the Colonels scored a run in the top of the fourth frame, the Blue and Grey pushed seven runs across the plate for the NCAA eight-run rule. Spilman started the scoring with a two-RBI double down the left field line as Siragusa and sophomore third baseman Madison Shaneberger. Matos added an RBI single while freshman second baseman Lauren Goetz had an RBI sacrifice fly. Freshman pinch hitter Olivia Martin connected on an RBI fielder's choice before O'Keefe finished the scoring with a two-RBI triple to right field.
The Greyhounds are scheduled to return to action on Saturday, April 1 when the squad hosts Juniata College in a Landmark Conference doubleheader beginning at 1:00 p.m. at Blue & Grey Field.