BETHLEHEM, Pa. --- The No. 10 Moravian College softball team split with visiting The Catholic University of America at Blue & Grey Field Saturday, falling in the first game 2-1 in eight innings before winning the second contest 12-4 in six innings to secure the top seed in the 2019 Landmark Conference Tournament and the right to host the conference tournament for the eighth time in 12 years.
The Greyhounds, now 26-4 overall after having a 20-game winning streak snapped in the opener and 9-1 in Landmark Conference play, had seven hits in the opener led by sophomore catcher Brooke Wehr, who was 2-for-4 with a run scored.
Freshman pitcher Alexandria Scheeler started in the circle and allowed two runs, only one earned, on seven hits and a walk to go with five strikeouts in just her first setback of the season.
The game was scoreless through the regulation seven innings before the Cardinals scored twice in the top of the eighth.
Freshman center fielder Cameron Cassidy started things in the bottom of the eighth with a one-out single before Wehr singled through the right side. After a fielder's choice had Cassidy out at third, Wehr would race home on an RBI single by senior left fielder Kat Spilman taken bounced off of the pitcher's arm and into left field. However, Moravian was unable to score again as the game ended with a fly ball.
The Greyhounds bats came alive in the second game with 15 hits including Spilman going 3-for-3 with four RBIs as she became the fourth player in program history to reach 200 career hits. Sophomore second baseman Shannon Brogan was also 3-for-3 with two RBIs and a double while sophomore shortstop Maddisen Bieber was 2-for-3. Cassidy had a 2-for-4 game as did Scheeler, who added three RBIs and a double.
Junior Paige Lesher improved to 13-1 in the circle as she allowed four runs, just two earned, on five hits and two walks to go with three strikeouts in five innings of work. Sophomore Meghan Bauer struck out the side in the top of the sixth during her only inning of action.
The Blue and Grey plated six runs in the bottom of the second inning to open the scoring. Bieber led off the frame with a single and moved to second on an error on a ball hit by freshman designated player Emily Groarke. After Cassidy reached on a bunt single, Wehr hit a ground ball that scored Bieber, who scored when the throw home was dropped. Junior right fielder Emily Stanilious drew an RBI walk to bring in Groarke before Spilman connected on a two-RBI single to center field bringing in Cassidy and Wehr. Moravian loaded the bases again before Scheeler ripped a two-RBI single to center as Stanilious and Spilman crossed the plate.
The Hounds tacked on two more runs in the bottom of the third for an 8-0 edge. Cassidy led off with a single through the right side and Wehr was hit by a pitch. Spilman drove in Cassidy with an RBI sacrifice fly while Wehr raced home on an RBI single through the left side by Brogan.
Catholic scored two runs in the top of the fourth and two more in the top of the fifth to cut the deficit to 8-4.
Moravian responded with three runs in the bottom of the fifth with two outs. Spilman started the rally with a single up the middle, and she raced home from first on an RBI double by Brogan to right field. Scheeler traded places with Brogan on an RBI double to center field while senior third baseman Madison Shaneberger connected on an RBI single through the left side to score Scheeler.
The Blue and Grey finished off their 12th NCAA eight-run rule victory of the season with one run in the bottom of the sixth. Wehr singled through the left side with one out and moved to third on a bunt single by Stanilious. Spilman followed with an RBI single off the fence in right field for her milestone hit as she joined Heather Bortz '05 (253 hits), Dior George '15 (214 hits) and Jenn Dalickas '15 (205 hits) in the 200-hit club.
The Greyhounds are scheduled to return to action on Tuesday, April 16 in a non-conference doubleheader with Eastern University. The games have been moved to Blue & Grey Field in Bethlehem with a 3:00 p.m. first pitch and Moravian will bat as the visiting team.