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

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Red Storm take Tech to task

The St. John’s softball team enjoyed one of its most successful weekends in program history on Saturday and Sunday, sweeping consecutive doubleheaders from Big East foes Pittsburgh and Virginia Tech.

A split would have been a little disappointing but accepted. 3-1 was the expectation. 4-0 is incredible.

“After dropping some games last week, it was huge for us to come out this week and play as well as we did against tough Big East competition,” St. John’s Head Coach Melody Cope said.

The Red Storm (18-18, 5-3) followed the lead of senior Courtney Fitzgerald.

Fitzgerald pitched a two-hit shutout of Virginia Tech to give the Red Storm a 2-0 victory in game one.

In the second game, sophomore Meghan Allman allowed just one run on three hits for the 3-1 win with Fitzgerald pitching the final two innings to earn the save and complete the sweep of the Hokies.

“I was really impressed with our pitching this afternoon,” Cope said. “Virginia Tech is normally a powerful offensive team but we were able to shut them down.”

Fitzgerald (15-11) pitched a complete game shutout in the opener, scattering two hits while striking out six and walking one.

The Red Storm scored its two runs in the bottom of the sixth inning on two hits and two walks.

With one out and the bases loaded, freshman Megan Oliver hit a slow grounder to the right side of the infield, and hustling down the base line, Oliver was able to beat the throw by a step, allowing two runs to score and preserving the victory for the Red Storm.

“All afternoon we played extremely hard and made sure to make the most out of their mistakes,” Cope said.

In the second game, the Red Storm led off the bottom of the first with two runs on three hits.

After senior Jessica Shepherd reached on an error by the second baseman, senior Alesha Argeras tripled to the right field wall, sending Shepherd home from second.

The Red Storm notched their second run of the inning when sophomore Jillian Sandoval doubled to center field, driving Argeras in from third.

Allman (3-2) once again looked impressive as she attempts to return to the form she exhibited last season following off-season surgery.

She went five innings allowing one earned run on three hits while striking out five and walking three.

Fitzgerald pitched the last two innings, facing seven batters, striking out four of them and earning her first save of the season.

“Meghan is really returning to form,” Cope said. “Physically she is at 100 percent, we are just trying to rebuild her confidence and picking up the victory today against a quality opponent should help.”

One constant on the day, when the frigid temperatures kept runs at a premium, was the stellar defense of the Red Storm, especially in the infield.

Shepherd made several nice plays ranging into the hole at short and sophomore first baseman Allina Sainz made several nice scoops.

The best play came in the first game when Sainz cut off a throw from the outfield and nailed a Virginia Tech runner at second base, squashing a potential Hokies rally.

“Our defense has been great all season but I would have to say we played flawlessly on the infield today,” Cope said.

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