The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

Grace Kramer shuts down Providence as Red Storm take two of three

Photo/Athletic Communications
Photo/Athletic Communications

Behind a pair of superb pitching performances from junior Grace Kramer, the St. John’s softball team took two out of three from conference opponent Providence College.

Kramer was dominant in the bookend matches, going the distance in both games and giving up zero runs. She improved to 12-10 on the mound, and St. John’s went to 21-18 overall and 5-6 in the Big East.

In the first game of the series, she gave up just one hit and two walks while striking out six. However, the offense could not capitalize on two chances in the first three innings. Kaitlyn Wilkens lined out with two runners on and two out to end the threat in the second, and after Lauren Zick singled, stole second, and moved to third on a ground out, a fly out and ground out finished the opportunity.

The Red Storm finally cashed in with two runs in the fourth. Krystal Puga drove in the opening salvo on an RBI single, and just a few batters later, Zick walked with the bases loaded to make in 2-0 in the fourth.

Kramer kept rolling, and the offense padded their lead in the fifth. Puga came through with yet another RBI single, and Yvonne Rericha, in her first game back from injury, drove in the final run of the game. Rericha and Warren paced the offense, which collected an impressive 13 hits, with three each.

The Red Storm fell in a tightly contested second game, 3-2. The offense struck first after three blank innings to start the contest. Puga was a catalyst yet again, doubling to lead off the inning, moving to third on a Brittany Garcia base hit and scoring on a failed pickoff attempt.

That’s all they would get, though, as Christina Ramirez went the distance for Providence and gave up just those two runs. The Friars would even the score off of St. John’s starter McKenzie Murray, who gave up three two-out baserunners. Following her departure, Kramer came in and gave up a two-run single by Nicole Lundstrom.

Failed opportunities came back to haunt the Red Storm. They loaded the bases with no outs in the sixth, but three straight groundouts ended their chance. The Friars turned right around and took the lead thanks to a leadoff home run by Vanessa Portillo which gave Providence the win.

The rubber game of the series was a scoreless tie until the top of the seventh, as Kramer worked her magic to stymie the Friars offense. She allowed just four hits over seven innings, and pitched to contact extremely well and used her strikeout pitch to get out of multiple jams.

Ramirez was just as effective, giving up just four hits in a complete-game effort. However, in the top of the seventh, Garcia was hit by a pitch and moved to second on a perfectly executed sacrifice bunt by Rericha. Lauren Zick came to the plate with Garcia on third and two outs, and just barely beat out an infield single with a gritty head-first dive, a play wholly indicative of the spark she provides this team, to secure the victory.

The Red Storm play again April 23-24 in Chicago against DePaul.

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About the Contributor
Dylan Hornik, Sports Editor Emeritus
Dylan Hornik is a senior journalism major and spent the last two years as a sports staff writer and Assistant Sports Editor for the Torch. He hoped to illuminate the rich history of St. John’s athletics while keeping readers up-to-date and informed on today’s sports teams, bringing together Johnnies from all walks of life. He has finished his undergrad years as of December 2017 and will be graduating in May.

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