WESTMINSTER, Md. – Too little, too late was the theme of the day for the Ursinus College softball team, which twice saw seventh-inning rallies fall just short in a Centennial Conference sweep at McDaniel.
Ursinus (7-13, 0-4) scored six of its seven runs in its final at-bat, but a lack of offense in the first six frames doomed the Bears to 5-3 and 7-4 setbacks in Maryland.
Taylor Hishon homered in both ends of the twin bill for the Green Terror (10-8, 4-0), who used its short park dimensions to its benefit with four round-trippers on the afternoon.
Game 1: McDaniel 5, Ursinus 3
Junior Kaitlyn Willis was cruising until the fourth inning, when Lindsey Miller opened the bottom of the fourth with McDaniel's first hit before stealing second and taking third on a throwing error. The next batter, Payton Lewis, doubled to left center to break the stalemate, and Hishon followed with a blast over the center-field wall to make it 3-0. Two batters later, Wagner put one out to center to cap a four-run frame.
Ursinus got one back in the fifth, when junior Rachel Hyman doubled and scored on a fielding error. But Roxana Aviles restored a four-run advantage with an RBI double in the sixth, putting the Bears in a 5-1 hole heading into the seventh.
The visitors made things interesting, loading the bases with only one out on singles by Hyman and sophomore Gabrielle Manto, sandwiched around a walk to Crouse. Sophomore Kayla Quinn's RBI groundout cut the Green Terror lead to 5-2, and a wild pitch made it 5-3.
Sophomore Sammi Donato walked to put Bears on the corners, but Cassie Rickrode closed it with a strikeout.
Willis (5-5) allowed five runs on seven hits, striking out a season-high seven against four walks. Hyman was 2-for-3 with a run to lead the offense.
Valerie Lamb (1-2) allowed one unearned run on just two hits over five strong innings for McDaniel.
Game 2: McDaniel 7, Ursinus 4
Jamie Weisser's two-run blast staked the Terror to a second-inning lead, and Hishon doubled it with her second two-run bomb of the day in the sixth. McDaniel tacked on three more runs in that inning to go into the seventh armed with a 7-0 lead.
The Bears, who had managed only two hits off Fiona Johnson in the previous six innings, suddenly came to life. Freshman Marissa Beebe got the visitors on the board with an RBI infield single, and a base hit by Crouse followed by a wild pitch made it 7-2. Quinn's sacrifice fly trimmed the deficit to 7-3.
Donato's base hit kept Ursinus' hopes alive, and they were renewed when Johnson booted a comebacker to allow a fourth run to score. A walk to rookie Faith Carson loaded the bases, but Johnson got a pop-up to second to end the rally.
The Bears look to break into the win column in CC competition at Muhlenberg on Tuesday, April 4.