CLERMONT, Fla. – Morgan Comfort used her arm and her bat – and her teammates' patient approach in a big inning – to lift the Ursinus College softball team to its first win of the season.
The rookie notched a complete-game victory on the mound and added a solo home run – both the first of her career – as the Bears came from behind for a 6-2 decision over Concordia Chicago in the second of two contests on Monday. Ursinus (1-3) drew eight walks, including four in a row during a five-run fourth inning, to snap a three-game losing streak to open the season.
Senior Kaitlyn Willis was a hard-luck loser in the first game, a 2-1 setback at the hands of a strong Penn State Behrend squad.
Game 1: Penn State Behrend 2, Ursinus 1
Behrend went up 1-0 on an RBI double by Kaylene Chaffee in the bottom of the second, and a two-out RBI single by Katie Gozzard doubled the spread in the fourth.
The Bears got one back in the sixth, as junior Samantha Garritano reached on a two-out single and went to second on a passed ball before classmate Faith Carson brought her home with an RBI single to right center.
That was all the Ursinus offense could muster against Jillian Williams, who allowed just three hits and an unearned run. Junior Callie Crouse had the other hit for the Bears.
Willis (0-2) was dealt another tough loss in a game effort. The right-hander struck out five without a walk and worked admirably around eight hits by Behrend. She left the bases loaded in the third, skirting an error and a hit batter.
Game 2: Ursinus 6, Concordia (Ill.) 3
With Comfort and Marita Van Dyke on their games, the teams combined for just one hit through the first three innings. Each missed a scoring opportunity by leaving two runners on base.
The Cougars broke free of the stalemate in the top of the fourth, stringing together three infield hits to start the inning and taking a 1-0 lead on a one-out walk to Taylor Kulaszewicz with the bases loaded. An RBI groundout made it 2-0 before Comfort stranded runners on second and third with a grounder to junior Kayla Quinn at shortstop.
Held hitless through the first three innings, the Bears began to square up Van Dyke with three consecutive one-out hits. Junior Sammi Donato dropped a single down the left-field line before Heather Lazer and Megan Hasulak followed with their first career hits, Hasulak's bringing home Donato from second. After a groundout, junior Faith Carson tied the game with a pinch-hit single through the left side.
The Bears didn't even need to lift a finger to open up a comfortable lead. Comfort and Quinn then drew back-to-back four-pitch walks to force in the go-ahead run. After a pitching change, Garritano and Crouse worked two more free passes to make it a 5-2 game.
Comfort unlocked another milestone with a one-out bomb to center field in the sixth. After the Cougars threatened with three two-out singles, the last of which brought a run home and sent the tying run to the plate, Comfort nailed down her first win by getting Allison Kruk to line out on her 131st pitch of the afternoon.
Comfort walked two and struck out five in her first career start. She was 1-for-3 with two runs scored out of the leadoff spot.
Lazer reached base all three times at the plate, going 1-for-1 with two walks, while Donato and Hasulak were each 1-for-2 with a walk.
The Bears take a day off before taking on Mount Ida and Saint Vincent on Wednesday.