The bats woke up in a big way for the Hofstra softball team on Saturday, as the Pride launched three home runs over two games to pick up a pair of wins over Boston University and the University of Massachusetts at Bill Edwards Stadium.
It was the first time this season that Hofstra would play in the friendly confines of Bill Edwards Stadium, and the home opener went as well as anyone could have hoped. The Pride topped Boston 7-2 in the first game, and then a 2-0 victory over UMass secured the sweep. The early victory over the Terriers marked win No. 100 for Hofstra head coach Larissa Anderson.
Coming into Saturday’s action, Hofstra had been struggling to produce at the plate. The Pride could only muster six total runs in five games at the Unconquered Invitational, but were able to hang seven runs in the first two innings on Boston.
In total, the Pride hit three home runs on Saturday, with Kimberly Wert’s pinch-hit shot in Game 2 being the difference-maker in Hofstra’s victory.
Brielle Pietrafesa got the ball rolling in Game 1 with a two-run homer in the first inning, giving the Pride and freshman pitcher Sophie Dandola an early lead to work with.
That lead would balloon in the very next inning, after Dandola worked a scoreless top half of the second inning. Kristin Hallam would drop one in just inside the left-field line for a RBI double, and Brittany Allocca would lift a towering shot to center field, a three-run shot to make it a 6-0 game.
The Pride would tack on one more before the inning was out, with Imani Myint scoring on a successfully-executed double steal. By the time the third out was recorded, Hofstra held a commanding 7-0 lead.
With that edge in hand, Dandola was in control all afternoon on the mound, throwing a complete game and allowing just four hits and two runs, both coming in the last inning. She improved to 6-3 on the season.
The offense tapered off a bit in the second-half of Saturday’s twinbill, but with Sarah Cornell cruising on the mound, it hardly mattered.
The sophomore recorded a complete-game victory of her own, allowing just a pair of hits while striking out nine.
After five innings of scoreless softball, the Pride broke things open in the bottom of the sixth. Courtney Scarpato singled to open up the frame, and was advanced to second on a groundout by Lydia Witkowski.
After Devyn Losco flew out to left field, Anderson went to the bench, calling on freshman Kimberly Wert to pinch-hit in place of Kaitlyne Musa. Wert had only batted eight times before being called upon on Saturday, but she stepped in and socked a two-run homer to left field, plating Scarpato and giving the Pride a 2-0 lead.
Cornell would retire the side in the top of the seventh, and that was all she wrote as Hofstra locked up the victory and the doubleheader sweep.
The Pride are back in action on Sunday with another doubleheader, traveling to St. John’s University for an 11 a.m. first pitch before returning back home to Bill Edwards Stadium for a 3:45 p.m. contest with Binghamton University to wrap up the weekend.