CLEARWATER, Fla. - The Saint Joseph's softball team split its pair of games Saturday at the USF-Clearwater Parks and Recreation Showcase Tournament as the Hawks bounced back from a 6-0 loss to Penn State with a late rally to top Toledo, 8-5, in eight innings in the day's second game.
In the nightcap versus the Rockets (7-11), Saint Joseph's rallied in the seventh from a 5-2 deficit to force extra innings. Sarah Ostaszewski struck the inning's first blow with a two-run double that scored Amanda Kulp and Kirstin Cox. Molly Kapala followed with a double to score Ostaszewski and tie the game at 5-5.
After a scoreless bottom half of the seventh, the Hawks scored three runs in the eighth to take an 8-5 lead. SJU tallied the first run as Toledo's center fielder misplayed a single by Jancarla Herrera, allowing Kapala to score from second. A pair of errors by the Rockets' shortstop followed, allowing Herrera and Kulp to score to make it 8-5.
Ashley Ventura, who entered the circle in the fourth inning, worked around a pair of one-out singles for the victory. Ventura scattered three hits and struck out two as she moved to 5-4 on the season.
At the plate, Ostaszewski went 3-for-5 with three RBI and two runs scored, while Herrera was 2-for-4 with one RBI and two runs scored. Kulp, who added a sacrifice fly in the third, collected two RBI and scored twice for SJU, with Taryn Grober accounting for a run in the fourth with an RBI ground out.
In the opener versus Penn State, the Hawks' offense was held in check as SJU collected just three hits for the game, while the Nittany Lions slowly pulled away as the game progressed.
Serving as the visiting team, Penn State plated a run in the top of the third on an infield single, then pushed its lead to 3-0 in the fifth with a two-run home run.
The Nittany Lions (12-12) added three insurance runs in the seventh, and retired the Hawks in order in the bottom half of the inning to close out the game.
Kulp, Kapala and Herrera combined for SJU's three hits, while Ventura was charged with the loss, allowing three earned runs over 5.0 innings, while striking out two.
The Hawks (7-5) cap play at the USF-Clearwater Parks and Recreation Showcase Tournament on Sunday with an 11:15 a.m. game versus Providence.
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