Softball shutout in opener against No. 18 Kentucky
The Hofstra softball team opened their season Friday, Feb. 15, against the No. 18-ranked University of Kentucky Wildcats in the St. Pete/Clearwater Elite Invitational down in Florida. The Pride and starting pitcher Mackenzie Suto fell 8-0 to the Wildcats in five innings. This was the first time that the Pride and the Wildcats crossed paths on the softball field. It was also Suto’s debut in a Hofstra uniform.
The game began with offensive power from both Hofstra and Kentucky during the first inning. Courtney Scarpato got the first hit of the season for the Pride with a single into right field. In the bottom of the first, the Wildcats were able to put three runs on the board early off a home run and a couple hits to go up 3-0.
In the second inning, the Pride tried to claw back against the Wildcats. The Pride drew two walks along with a single from Lyndsey Shaw to load the bases. Still, the Wildcats forced two ground outs from the next Pride batters to escape the inning unscathed.
In the bottom of the second inning, Suto was able to form a defensive pitching masterpiece as she was able to record her first career strikeout and force two ground outs to prevent the Wildcats from going up by more than three entering the third inning.
The top of the third inning was another stop for the Pride as all three batters got out and could not put any runners or points on the board. Kentucky scored four more runs to increase their lead to 7-0 off two hits.
The fourth and fifth inning were the same story for the Pride as all six batters either struck out or grounded out to end both innings. The bottom of the fifth finalized the game for the Wildcats as they won the game off an RBI single in the bottom of the fifth. Off that single, the Wildcats won with a slaughter rule win in the end of the fifth inning.
The Pride will look to rebound on Saturday, Feb. 16, as they face both No. 3 Oklahoma University and No. 20 Oklahoma State. Game times are set for 10 a.m. against the Sooners and 4 p.m. against the Cowboys. The Pride then return home on Wednesday, March 20, for the home opener.