LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. - Rallying for two runs in the bottom of the seventh, the Saint Joseph's softball team forced extra innings against Troy on Sunday morning in the final day of the District 9 Citrus Blossom Classic. The Trojans struck for three runs in the eighth to pull away for a 7-4 victory though as the Hawks capped a strong opening weekend finishing with a 4-1 record.
Down 4-2 entering the bottom of the seventh, Saint Joseph's pushed the game to extra innings with a pair of runs. Senior Taryn Grober made it 4-3 as she scored from third on a wild pitch, while Jancarla Herrera advanced to second on the play. Following a pitching change, rookie Carly Rybinski drilled a double down the left field line to score Herrera and tie the game at 4-4.
In the top of the eighth, the Trojans' Katie Webb put her team ahead with a three-run double to make it 7-4.
The Hawks would get the tying run to the plate in the bottom of the eighth, however Troy worked out of trouble to earn the win.
Troy opened scoring in the third with a three-run home run by Bailey Taylor, and made it 4-0 in the fifth on a RBI single by Katie Lively.
Saint Joseph's rallied though starting with a two-run sixth inning. Rybinski scored the Hawks' first run on a sacrifice fly by Sarah Ostaszewski, while Amanda Kulp scored on a double by Molly Kapala to make it 4-2 after six and give SJU momentum going into its final at-bat.
For the game, Rybinski went 3-for-3 with a RBI and run scored, while in the circle freshman Amanda Herr and senior Ashley Ventura split pitching duty. Herr allowed three earned runs on nine hits over 4.1 innings and fell to 2-1 on the season, while Ventura tossed 3.2 innings and allowed four runs on five hits and added three strike outs.
The Hawks return to action on March 1 at the District Classic with games against Brown (1 p.m.) and Bucknell (3 p.m.)
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