LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -  The Saint Joseph's softball team opened its 2019 season with victories over Providence and Stetson on Friday at the District 9 Citrus Blossom Classic. The Hawks opened the day with a 5-1 victory over the Friars and finished with a 6-2 win versus the Hatters.

Serving as the away team in their season opener, the Hawks got on the board quickly as they struck for three runs in the first inning. Molly Kapala and Amanda Kulp both scored off a deep sacrifice fly to centerfield by Caela Abadie for the first two runs, while Sarah Ostaszewski would score later in the inning off an error to make it 3-0.

The Friars (3-3) cut into the Hawks' lead in the bottom of the fourth as Mackenzie Compton scored on a sacrifice fly by Crista San Antonio to make it 3-1.

Saint Joseph's answered back with insurance runs as Kirstin Cox scored on a bases-loaded walk by Stacey Mayer in the fifth and then again scored in the seventh on an error off a sharply hit ball by Jancarla Herrera.

In the circle, senior pitcher Ashley Ventura helped secure the victory, 5-1 as she struck out eight and allowed one earned run on six hits in the complete game win.

In the second game of the day, Stetson (0-4) jumped out to a 2-0 lead on a two-run single by Kasey Fava with two outs.

Saint Joseph's answered back though with five runs in the third to take a 5-2 edge. Kulp opened the scoring with a two-run double that plated Cox and Carly Rybinski to tie the game. 

Following a single by Ostaszewski, Kulp scored as Stetson overthrew second on a steal by Ostaszewski. A double by junior Kapala would score Ostaszewski, while Kapala would come around to score the fifth run of the inning on a sacrifice fly by Taylor Marinelli.

The Hawks added to their lead in the fifth as Ostaszewski scored off a sacrifice fly by Kapala to make it 6-2.

The four-run lead would be all rookie Amanda Herr needed to finish things out. Working out of a bases-loaded jam to the end game, the Hawks' freshman earned her first collegiate victory as she tossed a complete game, allowing just two earned runs and collecting three strike outs.

At the plate, Ostaszewski went 3-for-3 with two runs scored, while Kulp and Kapala each added a pair of RBIs.

The Hawks (2-0) are back in action on Saturday as they face both Bethune-Cookman and Iowa on Saturday.

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