CLERMONT, Fla. – A pair of dominant pitching performances paved the way as the Ursinus College softball team closed its spring break trip with a sweep of Dominican (Ill.) and Gordon to run its winning streak to seven games.
After dropping their first three contests of the new season, the Bears (7-3) have matched their longest unbeaten stretch since a 12-game run in 2010.
Senior Kaitlyn Willis threw another complete-game gym as Ursinus rallied for a 4-1 win over Dominican in the opener, and freshman Morgan Comfort and sophomore Jennifer Hammons combined on a six-hitter in a 7-0 shutout of Gordon.
Game 1: Ursinus 4, Dominican 1
Despite Willis' dominance, the Stars were first on the board after Julia Orozco sent a solo homer over the fence in left with one out in the bottom of the fifth.
Unfazed by their previous struggles at the plate, the Bears hit back with a four-run sixth to give Willis all the support she would need. After sophomore Renee LeClerc singled with one out, junior Callie Crouse plated freshman pinch-runner Michela Coleman with a double down the left-field line to tie it at 1. Crouse advanced to third on a wild pitch, and Ursinus had runners on the corners when Willis drew a walk.
Up stepped pinch-hitter Delaney Baker, who sent a tiebreaking single into right field. After a wild pitch moved runners to second and third, junior Kayla Quinn added a critical insurance measure with a two-run single to make it 4-1.
Dominican had runners on first and second in the bottom of the sixth, and a base hit appeared to cut into the Bears' lead. But junior Samantha Garritano came up with a great throw to home to cut down the lead runner and end the inning. Willis had no trouble in the seventh, retiring the side in order for her fifth complete game.
Willis (3-2) finished the trip with a 1.54 ERA and 32 strikeouts in 36.1 innings.
Crouse was 3-for-3 with two doubles and a run scored for Ursinus, while Quinn (2-for-3) and Comfort (2-for-4) also had multi-hit games.
Game 2: Ursinus 7, Gordon 0
The Bears stroked four doubles in a three-run first, including consecutive two-base knocks from Comfort, Quinn, and Garritano to open the frame. Freshman Heather Lazer's two-out double scored Garritano.
Gordon kept Ursinus off the board for the next three innings and had a golden opportunity to trim the spread in the fifth, loading the bases with only one out. But Comfort got the next batter on a comebacker to the mound and got out of the jam with a grounder to the shortstop.
The Bears utilized a pair of errors to plate two runs in the fifth and added two more in the sixth, when freshman Alyssa Myers doubled to open the inning. Comfort and junior Gabrielle Manto followed with singles to load the bases for Quinn, who kept the line moving with an RBI single of her own. Junior Faith Carson polished off the scoring with a sacrifice fly.
Hammons came on in the sixth and threw two scoreless innings to end the game.
Comfort improved to a perfect 4-0, striking out three and allowing four hits in five innings.
Quinn finished 2-for-3 with two RBI for the second straight game, and Comfort added another 2-for-4 effort with a pair of runs. Myers and Manto each went 2-for-3.
The Bears, who have outscored their last four opponents, 33-2, return to face Delaware Valley in their home opener on Thursday, March 15.