CLEARWATER, Fla. - The Saint Joseph's softball team picked up three wins over the opening two days of the Michelle Smith Spring Break Invitational.
The Hawks earned a 12-6 win over Fairfield on Friday and followed with a 1-0 victory over Yale and 3-0 eight-inning win against LIU-Brooklyn on Saturday. In Friday's nightcap, Bethune-Cookman rallied late for a 15-8 win over the Hawks.
In Saturday's opener versus Yale, the Hawks' Ashley Ventura tossed a gem in allowing just three hits over seven innings, while striking out nine in the win.
From there, Ventura and the Hawks' defense made the lead stand to pick up the victory.
On the opposite side, Saint Joseph's managed just six hits through seven, but struck for three runs in the top of the eighth.
Rookie Sarah Ostaszewski, who started the inning and second and moved to third on a sacrifice bunt, scored the first run of the eighth on a fielding error off the bat of sophomore Stacey Mayer. Pinch running for Mayer, freshman Jancarla Herrera plated the second run of the inning off a single by Erica Nugent. Nugent would come around to score on the next at-bat as Taryn Grober doubled her home.
Ahead by three, Ventura made sure the lead stayed in the bottom of the eighth. Despite the runner advancing to third on a fielding interference with one out, the Hawks' wouldn't yield as they got a foul out and ground out to end the game.
On Friday, Saint Joseph's opened play with an offensive outbreak. Backed by a nine-run fourth inning, the Hawks topped Fairfield, 12-6.
The hitting continued versus Bethune-Cookman as SJU tallied eight runs on 12 hits. Stroud picked up a pair of RBIs and hits, while Mayer, Ostaszewski, Molly Kapala and Lauren Reilly each added an RBI apiece.
Unfortunately for the Hawks, Bethune-Cookman rallied late to pull away for the 15-8 win.
Saint Joseph's caps play on Sunday versus North Florida at 11:15 a.m.